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Current Work

Education in hospital settings

All children have a right to education. Children that need to stay in hospital or other healthcare settings should be supported to learn if they are well enough to do so. In Wales this is an entitlement in law. But we’re worried that in practice not all children are getting opportunities to learn when they are staying in hospital. This project will research whether children are able to access their right to education and the views of the child and their family about their experiences. We’re hoping to find and share good examples of how children are supported to develop their talents and skills. We will also highlight any gaps we find in provision and identify any hurdles faced by those tasked with delivering this legal entitlement. Our aim is to ensure that all children, wherever they are, can access their human right to an education.

Information about the Project for Children and Young People

ENYA 2022

This year our office is once again taking part in the European Network of Young Advisors (ENYA), an annual participation project which involves young people in the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC’s) work. We are working with members of our Young Person’s Advisory Panel on this year’s theme – “Let’s talk young. Let’s talk Climate Justice.”

The group will be working on the topic over the course of a few months and at the end will have drafted a set of policy recommendations. These recommendations will be presented by two ambassadors from the group at the ENYA Forum (held this year in the Basque Country) where the ambassadors will collaborate with their peers across the continent to draft a final set of policy recommendations. These will be used by children’s commissioners and ombudspersons to lobby governments and enact change within their respective countries and regions.

The project group have decided to create recommendations focused around three specific themes which are:

  • Climate action and participation in decisions
  • Global inequalities and climate refugees
  • Lifestyles and carbon footprints

No Wrong Door

In 2019-2020 the Commissioner met with health and social care leaders and others, in every region of Wales to ask what they are doing to help children with complex needs get a joined up service that meets their needs.

We published a report which set out examples of good things happening in every region. We also highlighted areas that regions could improve.

In 2020/2021, we revisited each Regional Partnership Board (RPB) and asked for written updates in relation to the report’s five recommendations.

In ‘Making Wales a No Wrong Door Nation: How are we doing?’ we share our findings and outline some clear steps for RPBs and Welsh Government going forward.

This year we aim to build on the success of the previous No Wrong Door work, and focus this time on the experiences of children and young people who are Neurodiverse or who are awaiting an assessment for a Neurodevelopmental condition. We will use experiences from our Investigation and Advice service to ensure that children, young people and their families are at the centre of decision making and that their voices are heard.

Working on our plan for the next three years

Every three years, we make plans for what issues we will focus on for the next three years. This time we have a brand new commissioner, Rocio Cifuentes. Rocio wants to hear directly from children and young people about what they think her very top priorities should be when protecting and promoting children’s rights, so that she can make sure she focusses on those things which mean the most to children in Wales.

We will also talk to professionals who support children and young people, and parents and carers.

We want to make sure reach as many children and young people as possible, and that we speak to children with all sorts of different life experiences. We will work hard to try to hear from as many children as possible in a way that best suits them.

Once we have found out what children and young people’s biggest priorities are, we will work on a big plan for how we will deliver on those priorities for children and young people.

Look out for our survey which we will be launching this autumn.

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

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) underpins all our work and this year we’ll focus efforts on continuing to influence and support public bodies across Wales to adopt a similar approach.

Our programme of work will see us supporting, in particular, education settings to adopt a children’s rights approach via our Right Way to Education guide and social services to adopt our Right Way to Social Care.

In addition, we’ll work with partners including the Welsh Government to implement the recommendations of the evaluation of The Right Way and will continue our programme of targeted training for senior decision makers.

Reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Following our December 2020 report to the UN Committee about Wales/UK’s performance on children’s rights, we will work again with the other UK Children’s Commissioners, to respond to the UK and devolved Governments’ assessment of their progress.  This will feed the views and experiences of Welsh children and young people into the Committee’s formal examination of the UK Government, in 2022.

Children’s Rights and Additional Learning Needs

There is a new law in Wales that sets out how children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) should be supported.

As part of this law, public bodies need to make sure they are considering the human rights of children.

We’re working with local authorities and health boards to develop a children’s rights approach in order to meet these duties.

For more information you can read our Project on a Page or our symbols-supported accessible info.

Project Vote

Through this project we supported parallel elections in secondary schools in Wales to coincide with 2022 Local elections. We wanted to help  young people (aged 11 – 15) to understand voting and to make sure they felt a part of the historic election that saw young people aged 16 voting for the first time in council elections . You can read more about this work by clicking on the link below.