The legislation creating a new children’s commissioner for Wales
passed through parliament on Friday with a pledge that a new Labour
government would look at bringing in similar posts for England,
Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As parliament will be dissolved on Monday, it was vital to get
the children’s commissioner for Wales bill ready for royal assent
before the close of House of Commons business on Friday.
During one of the final pieces of business at Westminster, the
bill was approved and Wales office minister David Hanson said it
could be the template for “children’s champions” elsewhere in the
The commissioner will have as his or her primary responsibility
safeguarding and promoting children’s rights and welfare and allow
him to make representations to, and review the performance, of the
National Assembly for Wales in this respect.
He will be able to review the actions of other individuals and
bodies and examine the cases of particular children and monitor
arrangements for complaints, whistleblowing and advocacy in
relation to children.
The bill covers more than merely social services, encompassing
all devolved areas such as health, education, the environment and
transport and was amended to cover any matter relating to the
rights and welfare of Welsh children. He will publish an annual
report and make other ad-hoc representations to the assembly when
Peter Clarke, the former director of Childline Cymru, has been
appointed to the post of commissioner.