28 Nov 2008

Children’s commissioner launches next three year’s work

MORE needs to be done to find safe and affordable activities for young people, said Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley today.

Launching her work over the next three years, Ms Lewsley said young people were clear that ‘Play and Leisure’ was a key priority for almost all the children and young people she had met since taking up post almost two years ago.

“A year ago I launched a consultation which allowed everyone to help identify the areas of work I am undertaking until 2011,” she said.

“Almost 1,500 children and young people took part with 500 adults. Their responses have formed my work for the next three years.

“I was determined that children and young people had a direct input to my work and they have provided a real insight into what they want me to focus my efforts on.

The Commissioner today publishes her priorities and the work she will be undertaking over the coming years in her annual review of 2007-2008.

“One of the key issues young people have raised with me is that there are simply not enough safe things for them to do,” said Ms Lewsley. “I have seen several examples where young people have been given the chance to develop very successful projects.

“This shows that the majority of young people can make a constructive contribution to their own lives and the wider community.”

The Commissioner will be undertaking work under five priority areas. These are:

  • Play and Leisure;
  • Having Your Say;
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health;
  • Protection; and,
  • Equal Treatment.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

  • The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People's job is "promoting and safeguarding the rights and best interests of children and young people.
  • Information on her work can be found here on the website  
  • NICCY's priorities will be live on the website from 28th November
  • NICCY's annual review was published on 28th November, and is available from the NICCY Belfast office
  • MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or   communications@niccy.org