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Progress made by Jersey's first Children's Commissioner

31 January 2018

​The Children’s Commissioner for Jersey has made considerable progress working on the recommendations made by the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

Deborah McMillan started her new role as the Island’s first Children’s Commissioner for Jersey, on 8 January, and, to date, has had one-to-one meetings with almost 50 stakeholders ranging from Ministers, staff within the civil service, third sector partners and other public bodies.

The Children’s Commissioner has also met with a range of children and young people and visited six schools as part of a planned programme of visits before the Easter break. 

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is up and running with the Children’s Commissioner and two members of staff in post. The office has started to make progress against a range of actions based on the recommendations of the Jersey Care Inquiry.

Progress has been made on 32 of 43 actions

Today (31 January 2018) in the States Assembly, the Chief Minister discussed the Council of Ministers’ response to the eight main headline recommendations and outlined the progress made on the 43 actions.

Progress has been made to complete or start work on 32 of the 43 headline actions identified in the Council of Ministers’ response to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.

The Children’s Commissioner’s work is underpinned by the UNCRC (United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child) and work has begun to support children and young people and States employees to find out about children’s rights. 

Work has also started to consider the statutory powers of the Children’s Commissioner and this will be informed through consultation with children and young people to ensure that the Commissioner has the powers to act on their behalf on matters that are important to them.

Mrs McMillan said “Discussions have started regarding the UNCRC incorporation, considering the question of which incorporation model would be best approach and this will inform a report to the States Assembly on the necessary legislative changes. 

“I have also made links with the Welsh and Irish Children’s Commissioners. The British and Irish Network of Children’s Commissioners are meeting to discuss how best to incorporate the Office of the Children’s Commissioner Jersey into the group.”

The Commissioner will be encouraging and supporting all schools in Jersey to become Rights Respecting Schools.

The Children’s Commissioner for Jersey will:

  • support children and young people to find out about children’s rights
  • listen to children and young people to find out what’s important to them
  • advise children, young people and those who care for them if they feel they’ve got nowhere else to go with their problems
  • influence Government and other organisations who have a responsibility for making a difference to children’s lives, making sure they keep their promises to children and young people
  • speak up for children and young people on important issues – The Commissioner will be  the children’s champion .

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