15 October 2018
Jersey’s Children’s Minister and representatives of the government are visiting Norway and Sweden today, on a fact-finding trip organised by the Children’s Commissioner, to understand how these countries have embedded the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law.
Jersey’s Children’s Commissioner Deborah McMillan is leading the visit, which also includes law and policy officers from the States of Jersey.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Senator Mézec said: “The Council of Ministers is continuing to keep to our pledge to 'Put Children First' by stepping up our commitment to fulfil, protect and respect children’s rights.
“Further to the recent Council of Ministers decision to the UNCRC it will be interesting to visit Sweden and Norway to understand how they have promoted children’s rights.
“Children’s rights have never before been so high profile in Jersey’s policy proposals. We want the rights of children and young people not just recognised, but rooted deep in our society and our public services.”
As part of the programme of legislative change following the Jersey Care Inquiry, Ministers have agreed to a new law being developed that will place an obligation on them and officials to show how they have considered the impact on Children’s Rights as they develop future government policy and legislation.
The law change will also require the government to actively promote the rights of the child and to put in place a statutory complaints mechanism to respond to children and families that feel their child’s rights have been overlooked.
The UNCRC is an internationally recognised system of child’s rights which has been incorporated by a growing number of progressive States to form the foundation of domestic children’s law and practice.
In 2014, Jersey requested the UK to extend ratification of the UNCRC to the Island. Jersey is bound by international law to respect, protect and promote children’s rights, and is subject to the monitoring and reporting processes of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (the “UN Committee”).