Posted: Wed 10th Feb 2016

Five-point plan to strengthen commitment to UNCRC /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016

Councillors have outlined a five-point plan to help strengthen Swansea’s growing commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Council Logo ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea became the first local authority in the UK to enshrine a commitment to take account of children’s needs and expectations in every aspect of its decision-making. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And now scrutiny councillors have backed the good work that’s being done and suggested five further proposals to help boost support for the UNCRC and rights respecting schools. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Mary Jones, chair of the council’s Scrutiny Programme Board, said: “As councillors, we strongly support the concept that children should be the council’s top priority and we have a duty to ensure their voice is heard in decisions the council takes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In our review of the council’s Children and Young People’s Rights Scheme, we saw a lot of really good work going on.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Jones said respecting children’s rights was part and parcel of everyday life for many city schools and the rights respecting schools initiative could be extended in a number of ways. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said: “We’ve also made a number of suggestions which we believe will help make a difference. Social media, for example, is something almost all children and young people have access to these days. We feel it would be an excellent way to allow them to develop their role and participation in the rights scheme.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The five recommendations for action arising out of the review are: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Making a session on ‘Children’s Rights’ part of the councillor induction programme
  • Clearer mapping of schools to show the level of engagement with the Rights Respecting School initiative
  • Close working with Governors (which include councillors) in encouraging those schools not already engaged in the Rights Respecting School Initiative, as well as supporting the rights of children and young people generally
  • More use of social media to develop the involvement and participation of children and young people
  • Promotion of the City & County of Swansea as ‘rights respecting’ in corporate branding

The quarterly ‘Scrutiny Dispatches’ is published for councillors to consider at Full Council on January 28. It looks at a range of scrutiny activities, including some which are in the pipeline. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

To find out more about scrutiny and the Scrutiny Dispatches, go to ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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