19 November 2018
The Council of Ministers has approved a significant new plan for Children and Young People that aims to make Jersey the best place to grow up in.
The first Children’s Rights Officer for Jersey to support children and young people in care has also been appointed.
These major milestones, which have been announced as countries around the world prepare to mark International Children’s Day tomorrow (Tuesday), have been described as a significant step forward to improve the lives of children and young people in Jersey.
And to mark International Children's Day, many schools in Jersey will be taking part in “The World's Largest Lesson” for UNICEF’s OutRight Campaign. D’Auvergne school is hosting the event which has been organised by the Children’s Commissioner, and is being attended by over 70 students representing 18 of the island’s primary schools
The new Children and Young People’s Plan is part of the States of Jersey’s commitment to its corporate parenting responsibilities and will be presented as a report to the States Assembly later this year or early 2019.
The endorsement of a new Children and Young People’s Plan for Jersey has been described as a “significant step for Jersey” by the Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec.
Senator Mézec said: “The Council of Ministers have endorsed a new Children’s Plan for Jersey. This is a significant step forward in making Jersey the best place to grow up. It builds on the Pledge for Children and Young People and the work of the Common Strategic Policy to improve outcomes for all children in Jersey.
“I am delighted to see the appointment of Jersey’s first Children's Rights Officer, who will support children and young people in care and make sure their rights are defended and safeguarded; to provide information and help young people interpret what is happening to them.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to this plan and for the hard work that has gone into producing such a fundamental plan for Jersey’s Children and Young People.”
The theme of the day is to #GoBlue to celebrate children and raise awareness of children around the world who are being denied their rights. This year the focus is on air pollution and the right to a healthy environment. During the day, the children will be learning about Article 24: the right to a clean environment – this includes clean breathing air wherever they live, learn and play.
Jersey’s Children’s Minister Senator, Sam Mézec and Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois have been invited to discuss environmental issues with school children in an event organised by the Children’s Commissioner tomorrow.
The Children and Young People’s plan is based around the following set of four headline outcomes that all children in Jersey:
- grow up safely
- live healthy lives
- learn and achieve
- are valued and involved.
It also fulfils one of the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. During the inquiry, it was also recommended that children should be part of developing that plan.
The new Children and Young People’s Plan is the culmination of 18 months of work, with contributions from students through their school councils. Young people from Youth Clubs and agencies who work with and for children have contributed to the plan.
A public engagement day was held in March earlier this year, which saw more than 200 people contribute their views on what priorities should be in the plan.