Mr. Williams said he believed that the strategy was an important step in the development of how children and young people are treated, and that it needed to be given proper funding and due importance within all parts of Government.
“The publication of this draft strategy should have signalled a huge step forward in children and young people’s rights in Northern Ireland,” he said. “However, while there is much to be welcomed, our response signals some important areas of concern.
“We feel that there needs to be a clear indication that specific resources will be allocated to the actions in this strategy. We also feel that the rights contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child need to be emphasised and be inform every part of this strategy.”
The Commissioner said his office is also calling for the creation of a Minister of Children and Young People.
“Children and young people are affected by the decisions of Government and almost every Government department. In England there is a minister for children and while I realise there are very real difficulties during this period of Direct Rule I believe this is an important step that needs to be taken.”
Mr Williams said that he is making his response available to all on the NICCY web site at www.niccy.org
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