The Right Way: A Children’s Rights Approach in Wales

Date: 14th April 2017
Category: Wales-specific monitoring and reporting
Author: Children's Commissioner for Wales

The Children's Commissioner for Wales has published a practical guide to help all public bodies adopt a Children's Rights Approach.

The Right Way: A Children's Rights Approach in Wales is a principled and practical framework for working with children, grounded in the UNCRC, to help public bodies to integrate children's rights into every aspect of decision-making, policy and practice.

Created with expert advice from the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People, it encourages public services across the country to commit to the UNCRC and to improve how they plan and deliver their services.

It is important because all public bodies have a legal duty to contribute toward the realisation of children's rights. A Children's Rights Approach is consistent with these duties, and will help public bodies to meet their statutory duties.

The Commissioner for Wales want to see a Wales which recognises children and young people as active citizens with an important contribution to make in their communities and nation; this guide will help public bodies to give children and young people the opportunities to do that.

A Children's Rights Approach

The principles of a Children's Rights Approach are:

  • Embedding children's rights - putting children's rights at the core of planning and service delivery.
  • Equality and non-discrimination - ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to be the best they can be.
  • Empowering children - enhancing children's capabilities as individuals so they're better able to take advantage of rights, and engage with and hold accountable the institutions and individuals that affect their lives.
  • Participation - listening to children and taking their views meaningfully into account.
  • Accountability - authorities should be accountable to children for decisions and actions that affect their lives.

A Children's Rights Approach means that:

  • Organisations will prioritise children's rights in their work with children and families to improve children's lives
  • All children are given opportunities are given the opportunities to make the most of their talents and potential
  • All children are given access to information and resources to enable them to take full advantage of their rights
  • Children are provided meaningful opportunities to influence decisions about their lives
  • Authorities and individuals are accountable to children for decisions, and for outcomes that affect children's lives

Why use this framework?

Investing in children's rights has real benefits for organisations:

  • It will help public bodies to meet their statutory duties
  • It contributes to enabling more children and young people to be better involved in public services; leading to better decision making.
  • It ensures there's a real focus on the particular needs of children whose voices can be lost or silenced.
  • It helps to create an environment where public services are accountable to all of its service users.
  • Download 'The Right Way' here.
  • Watch 'The Right Way' video here.