21 Jun 2005

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, today welcomed the Secretary of State’s announcement of the creation of a Children’s Minister for Northern Ireland.

Mr Williams today published a major report into vetting, and the Secretary of State, Peter Hain MP, in welcoming the report announced his intention to appoint a Minister for Children.

The Commissioner said this was an important step for children’s rights in Northern Ireland.

“Today I launched a major report on vetting, and in it I called for leadership to make sure that recommendations on child protection are taken forward,” he said.

“The creation of a Children’s Minister is an important step in putting that leadership in place.”

Mr Williams said children and young people’s issues, problems and rights cut across so many different parts of Government that there needed to be a voice at the top table.

“Ever since my appointment I have recommended the creation of a post of Children’s Minister, as I believe this can help unify and co-ordinate action.

“I am delighted that Peter Hain has responded so positively to create this post.”