Grandparents Apart Wales Blog Febuary 2015

10 years of engaging - Charter for Children


Dear Friends,

On the 5th March 2015 I will have completed 10 years of engaging with senior Politian's and governments, both devolved and national for children to be heard and listened to.

The UK government is funding £2 million pound to finance a Special Social Service team with the purpose of preventing the horrific mutilation of children by FGM.

I have no word on what the Welsh Government are doing to support the prevention of such practices.

I take what is being advised on board but are the facts of children neglect not clear, that society has in too many instances let children down especially, by those whose specific responsibility it was to protect them.

We cannot be complacent as the abuse of children also happened here in North Wales and I have evidence of abuse of a child closer to home.

I petitioned the National Assembly of Wales in July 2009 to have a Charter for Children which would have set out rights for children under the Charter. Rights which children themselves wanted.

The Charter for Children was the subject of a Short Debate in the Senedd in November 2011 but the Welsh Government felt that Family Law and the Children's Act 1989 was adequate protection for children and there is some truth in that.

However we have history now coming to the fore of traumatic sexual and physical abuse of children which is an indictment and condemnation of governments and the many Children's Agencies involved sadly including the police.

The Government's action proves that the Children's Act 1989 and Family Law is not going to be sufficient or adequate to protect these young girls from FGM.

We in Conwy are protected by the law yet CCBC have a Corporate Plan 2012-2017 which contains 8 Citizen Outcomes for the benefit of those who reside in the county.

I argue children are also protected by the law but that they too should have a Charter with 13 statements giving them the best possible start in life realising their own potential.

Immigrants who wish to be part of our communities no doubt wish to be educated so that they understand our language, culture, religion and history and no doubt our laws.

When it comes to children a booklet with 13 pages is not too much for them to learn about the rights of children and it would reflect the voice of children and young people with what the feel they need.

I am pleased to say we have improved so much in 10 years regarding the protection of children and we are making vast strides forward in the Family Courts but I still support a Charter for Children.

Best wishes


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