If you're under 18, you are protected by an international agreement called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The UNCRC lays down the rights of all children and young people in order that they can be kept safe, have the things they need and be involved in decisions about their lives. The Convention is made up of 54 articles which deal with all aspects of children’s lives.
The Convention was accepted by the UK government in 1991. The Welsh Assembly Government has adopted the UNCRC as their official plan of action for children and young people up to the age of 25. The Seven Core Aims for Children and Young People in Wales are based on the UN Convention Articles.
Guiding principles of the UNCRC:
- Non discrimination - All rights apply to all children without exception or discrimination of any kind.
The Measure places a duty on the Welsh Ministers (including the First Minister) to have regard to the UNCRC. Between May 2012 and April 2014 this duty will apply when they are making decisions about new policy or changing existing policies. However from the beginning of May 2014 this it will apply when they are exercising any of their functions.
The Children’s Scheme
Welsh Ministers will have to produce a Children’s Scheme setting out the arrangements they have made or will be making in order to carry out the duty of having regard to the UNCRC. This scheme might require Welsh Ministers to publish reports about how well it is operating. When the UN Committee issues its Concluding Observations the Welsh Ministers will have six months to consider whether the scheme needs to be revised or rewritten.
If you think your rights, or those of a child or young person you’re concerned about, aren’t being respected, you can contact Tros Gynnal, Powys Advocacy Service for children and young people.
To find out more about the UN Convention and Your Rights check out some of these sites: