The rights of children have been put to the forefront in Dyfed-Powys, as Dyfed-Powys Police, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner have jointly adopted a Children’s Rights Charter. The charter has been created with the support of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, to enable the force and our partners to demonstrate the commitment that we want to make towards young people as we come into contact with them across the area.
Detailing the rights young people have when coming into contact with these agencies, the six-point charter – officially adopted today (Wednesday, September 22) – sets out how they will always work on behalf of and in the best interests of children and young people, treating them with respect and in confidence.
It refers to all contact young people have with these agencies, and from a police perspective includes if they have been a victim of crime or if they are accused of breaking the law.
Officers, staff and volunteers are all expected to abide by the charter’s promises whenever they come into contact with children and young people.
The charter has been designed with young people from across the Dyfed-Powys area following a significant engagement exercise with young people of all ages, to understand what was important to them and their expectations.
A number of pupils from Ysgol y Felin school met Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, Maria Battle Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Mid and West Wales Fire Service Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection Peter Greenslade at an event in Dyfed-Powys Police HQ in Carmarthen today (Wednesday 22 September) to mark the charter’s official launch.
T/Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “In Dyfed Powys Police, we believe that it is every child’s right to live, learn and grow up in a happy, safe environment that allows them to thrive. We must care for and protect them, as they are our legacy for the future. Our joint Children’s Rights Charter with our partners enables us to demonstrate and embed this belief through a Children’s Rights Approach in all that we do, and importantly it’s been developed for young people and by young people.
“Our staff work together, and with our partners to ensure that all children that we come into contact with are treated with respect and in confidence. Our charter refers to all contact young people have with the police, including if they have been a victim of crime or if they are accused of breaking the law.
“It is an honour to launch the Children’s Rights Charter today and to formalise our commitment to looking after the rights of our children and young people. I want to thank everyone who’s been involved in developing the Charter, and to the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Office for supporting us throughout the process.”
Steffan Jones from year 6 in Ysgol Brynsierfel said: “It was an honour to be a part of the process to create the charter. We feel as a school that the voice of every child is really important, and this charter will help us spread the message across the school.”
Teagan Croucher also from year 6 in Ysgol Brynsierfel added: “It’s so important that every child knows about and understands their rights, and this charter will help us on the journey to win the Gold award for School that Respects Rights.”
Mid and West Wales Fire Service Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection Peter Greenslade said: “Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are proud to be involved with the introduction of the Blue Light Children’s Rights Charter. We work extensively with young people, to develop their life skills and improve their lives, and the Charter underpins all that we do with our youth initiatives and education work. The Charter is a valuable statement, demonstrating that we and our partners are committed to our young people, and should give reassurance to young people that we have their wellbeing at the forefront of all that we do.”
Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The Health Board is truly proud to support The Children and Young People’s Charter. We are committed to listening to and ensuring the well-being of our younger population. It’s incredibly important that every child is aware that they have the right to access any service that we provide to ensure their good health. Every child has the right to a happy, healthy and safe upbringing.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I’m extremely pleased that we are launching our Children’s Rights Charter, and that we have taken a collaborative approach in devising a joint charter with our partners in Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Mid and West Wales Fire Service.
“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people a comprehensive set of rights, which is critical to supporting and developing children in communities across the world. In establishing and launching the Charter here in Dyfed-Powys we recognise the importance of working together to achieve the United Nations’ ambitions.
“We believe that every child has a right to live, learn, play and grow up in a safe environment within our communities. Our commitment is to ensure that the responsibilities and powers of Dyfed-Powys Police, my Office and those of our partners, are used in ways that are consistent with the Convention and enable children and young people to contribute to building safe and healthy communities for the future.
“I would like to thank everyone who’s been involved in developing the Charter, and to the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Office for supporting us throughout the process.”
Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this initiative with Dyfed Powys Police, Hywel Dda Health Board and others delivering services across the region, and to see how they’ve committed to putting children’s rights at the heart of their work with young people.
“I’m particularly pleased that children themselves have played a central role, which is a core element of any children’s rights approach. If we want to be serious about protecting children’s human rights as a society, we need to make sure children experience those rights in all aspects of their lives, and that the public bodies who serve them are explicit in their commitment to those rights.”
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