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Children’s Social Care (Coronavirus) Regulations - Covers

Purpose and Activities of NICCY

NICCY was established through the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.  This outlines NICCY’s functions, duties and powers and the principal purpose (mission) of the Office (under Article 6(1)) which is to ‘safeguard and promote the rights and best interests of children and young people’. The age remit includes those up to the age of 18 and those up to 21 years if they have a disability, or have experience of being in the care of the State.

NICCY was established as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on 1 October 2003 and has been sponsored by Department for Communities since May 2016 following public sector reforms.

NICCY’s Mission (i.e. principal purpose) is:

To safeguard and promote the rights and best interests of Children and Young People’

NICCY’s Vision is:

A society where all Children and Young People flourish, are valued and their views respected.’

NICCY’s work is required to be guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – in fulfilling the duties and exercising the powers of the Office as set down in the 2003 Order.

This states the Commissioner’s paramount consideration shall be the rights of the child or young person; further, that NICCY shall have regard in particular, to the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child or young person (considered in light of his/her age and understanding); and have regard to the importance of the role of parents in the upbringing and development of their children.

The Commissioner is also supported by a NICCY Youth Panel (NYP) made up of young people recruited from across Northern Ireland, who share and contribute their experiences and views with the organisation, to help inform on the rights-based issues that affect children and young people and impact their lives and life outcomes.

The organisations i.e. ‘relevant authorities’ under NICCY’s remit are also as set out in the 2003 Order.