Children's Commissioner for Wales

This report presents the results of an evidence review on the human rights of children in Wales and covers the period 2015 to the present day. The legal structures and processes in place to realise children’s rights in Wales are well known: for example, the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011, which requires that Ministers give due regard to the UNCRC in all decisions that may affect children.

However, the effectiveness of these measures is less well-understood. This report not only seeks to determine the current picture in terms of the realisation of children’s rights in Wales, but also seeks to establish what data are currently being collected in Wales to enable the monitoring of children’s rights. Effectively monitoring a country’s progress towards implementing human rights conventions requires the collection of a range of high-quality qualitative and quantitative data.13 Thus, identifying gaps in evidence is as important as establishing what data are currently available. It is also important to ascertain whether the data are collected by the government, via government-funded institutions, or whether they are collated on an ad hoc basis by other organisations.

It is the government’s obligation to fulfil children’s rights, and it must ensure that its policy-making is informed by reliable and valid sources of information on children’s views and experiences. Furthermore, as emphasised by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, children themselves can indicate whether their rights are being fulfilled, and so it is important that self-reported data, and research projects which involve children as researchers, are also included.14