The Commissioner emphasised the promises made to children and young people by government to keep them safe as part of its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
She said that some progress had been made but more needed to be done, and that budget cuts cannot be an excuse for not effectively protecting children and young people.
“I welcome the legislation passing through the NI Assembly to establish a Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.” said the Commissioner.
“To be truly effective the Board must make sure there is joined up working across all agencies to support and protect children.”
Ms Lewsley said the new Safeguarding Board must prioritise work in areas of Case Management Reviews and child deaths as a matter of urgency.
“Northern Ireland has not kept pace with some other parts of the United Kingdom. Stringent processes need to be in place to make sure we learn the difficult lessons of what has gone wrong when children have not been kept safe.”
“At this time of budget cuts, I have grave concerns about the potential impact of these on services which support and protect children, specifically social care funding.
“As part of my Make it Right campaign I hope that children and young people will act now to help make it right for children and young people affected by all types of abuse.”
You can find out more about NICCY here on the website or the Make it Right campaign here , call 028 9031 1616 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors: