23 Oct 2003

The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, was the keynote speaker at the Western Education and Library Board’s annual youth conference in Omagh on Friday 23rd October. Some 100 young people from all parts of Counties Derry, Tyrone and Fermanagh joined together to explore issues connected with children’s rights. The Children’s Law Centre had worked with the WELB youth service to put on the conference.

The Commissioner challenged the young people about translating the theory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice and used examples of cases that had already been brought to his attention by children and the parents. He highlighted the issues of providing education for autistic children; psychiatric care for teenagers; outdoor play facilities for all; and youth clubs in remote areas.

He said “It is imperative that young people have the chance to influence key decisions that affect them. The model of shadow youth councils in the districts of the Western Board area is excellent and must be built upon.”

You can read more about the WELB youth service at www.welbni.org/youth/youthserv.htm