Children’s rights in Wales


The Children, Young People and Education Committee undertook a short inquiry on children’s rights in Wales to review the impact of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011.


Terms of Reference

It considered:

  • the extent to which the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 has influenced the Welsh Government’s decision making, including its financial allocations and whether it has fulfilled the Convention’s ‘general measures’ of implementation;
  • evidence of whether the Measure has led to improved outcomes for children and young people;
  • whether the duties within the Measure have been embedded effectively across Welsh Government cabinet portfolios and policy;
  • the extent to which the Welsh Government has sought to ensure that its duties within the Measure are translated into the work of the public bodies it provides funding to, including local authorities and NHS bodies;
  • the extent to which the Welsh Government has implemented its duty to promote knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC amongst the public, including children and young people;
  • how the duty to have ‘due regard’ to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is being implemented in practice and whether Child Rights Impact Assessments are being used as a meaningful tool;
  • the effectiveness of the Children’s Right’s Scheme and the most recent Welsh Government compliance report, and the extent to which they evidence sufficient action on the part of Welsh Government to ensure full implementation of the Measure;
  • how effectively the Welsh Government responds on a strategic basis to the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.



Senedd Research produced blogs with more information on this topic:

Children’s rights: high on the political agenda again

Coronavirus: children’s rights


Evidence gathering

The Committee held a number of evidence sessions to inform its work, details of which can be viewed in the table below. The Committee also consulted on this topic. The consultation responses have been published.


Evidence Grid

Evidence session

Date, Agenda and Minutes



1.    Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group

Sean O’Neil, Policy Director, Children in Wales

Tim Ruscoe, Public Affairs and Participation Officer, Barnardo’s Cymru

Dr Simon Hoffman, Associate Professor, Swansea University

16 October 2019

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2.    Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales

Dr Phillip Connor, Consultant in Paediatric Haematologist, Directorate Research and Development Lead, Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales

Rhian Croke, Children’s Human Rights Advisor, Human Rights Wales

Rhian Thomas Turner, Senior Operations Manager, Children’s Hospital for Wales

16 October 2019

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3.    Equality and Human Rights Commission

Melissa Wood, Senior Associate

Hannah Wharf, Principal

16 October 2019

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4.    Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Rachel Thomas, Head of Policy and Public Affairs

16 October 2019

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5.    Welsh Government

Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

Karen Cornish, Deputy Director, Children & Families Division – Welsh Government

David Pearce, Head of Children's Branch – Welsh Government

6 November 2019

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6.    Welsh Youth Parliament representatives

Betsan Angell Roberts, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Cardiff North

Todd Murray, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Bridgend

Ffion Griffith, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Islwyn

Maisy Evans, Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Torfaen

20 November 2019

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Public engagement

In addition to formal evidence gathering, the Committee sought the views of the children and young people through engagement initiatives. A summary of the activities can be viewed below.


Meeting in a Box

As part of this inquiry, the Committee developed a “meeting in a box”(PDF 91.7KB) engagement activity. This was a resource pack aimed at empowering children and young people to share their views on children’s rights followed by a short survey in order to share what was learnt and feed into the wider inquiry.

A short video was produced to explain more about the resource, how it was used across Wales, and the other ways the Committee has engaged with children and young people.

Meeting in a Box – engagement summary (PDF 204KB)


Lleisiau Bach / Little Voices

Working in partnership with Lleisiau Bach / Little Voices, the Committee met children from two primary schools to gain an understanding of how children’s rights are helping them.

Little Voices – Children’s Voices Being Heard (PDF 679KB)



On 11 August 2020, the Committee published its report (PDF 1.07MB) on Children’s Rights in Wales. A child-friendly (PDF 276KB) version is available.


On 23 September 2020 the Welsh Government responded (PDF 178KB) to the report.


On 14 October 2020 the Committee wrote (PDF 208KB) to those stakeholders who provided oral evidence to this inquiry to gather their views on the Welsh Government’s response to the Committee’s recommendations, and any significant updates relevant to the report since the Committee took evidence. We received views from the Children Commissioner for Wales (PDF 472KB), Children in Wales(PDF 121KB) and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales Children and Young Adult’s Research Unit (NACH), supported by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for Wales.(PDF 566KB)


The report was debated in plenary on 20 January 2021.


Business type: Committee Inquiry

Status: Complete

First published: 09/07/2019