CRC concluding observations 2016, paragraph 31
Plain English recommendation
(a) Systematically and meaningfully involve children in decision making, both locally and nationally, in all matters relating to their lives (especially younger and disadvantaged children). Consider UN advice on children’s right to be heard.
(b) Review legal aid reforms in England and Wales. Consult with children and assess the impact proposed reforms in Northern Ireland and Jersey have on their rights. Ensure that any reforms guarantee their access to justice.
(c) Establish youth parliaments across the UK to help children engage with law-making processes on issues that affect them.
(d) Ensure children’s views are heard and considered by all professionals working with children.
Original UN recommendation
21. With reference to its general comment No. 12 (2009) on the right of the child to be heard, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Establish structures for the active and meaningful participation of children and give due weight to their views in designing laws, policies, programmes and services at the local and national levels, including in relation to discrimination, violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, harmful practices, alternative care, sexual and reproductive education, leisure and play. Particular attention should be paid to involving younger children and children in vulnerable situations, such as children with disabilities;
(b) Assess the impact and expedite the review of the reforms on legal aid in England, Wales and Scotland and conduct child rights impact assessment of the proposed reforms in Northern Ireland and Jersey, in order to ensure that such reforms do not negatively affect children’s access to justice, and guarantee effective participation of children in such assessment and review;
(c) Expedite the establishment of youth parliaments in all devolved administrations and territories as permanent forums for children’s effective engagement with national legislative processes on issues that affect them;
(d) Ensure that children are not only heard but also listened to and their views given due weight by all professionals working with children.”
Date of UN examination
UN article number
3 (best interests of the child),12 (respect for the views of the child)