20 November 2019
The Government of Jersey has launched an island-wide campaign today – on World Children’s Day – to encourage everyone in Jersey to support the Pledge to Put Children First.
The Government launched the eight-point Pledge to Put Children First just over a year ago, in which Ministers, States Members, and public service leaders committed to being accountable for improving the care and upholding the rights of every child in the Island.
Now, a new campaign, to which students from Jersey’s School Council Network contributed, has been launched to encourage Islanders to support the Pledge through a new Putting Children First webpage.
The campaign will raise awareness of what Putting Children First involves, using the outcomes from the Children and Young People’s Plan that all children and young people will grow up safely, learn and achieve, live a healthy life and will be valued and involved in everyday decisions that affect their lives.
Jersey’s Government has launched this campaign on World Children’s Day, the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to demonstrate its commitment to Putting Children First.
Schools around the Island are supporting the Putting Children First campaign as well as celebrating children’s rights as part of the UNCRC 30-year anniversary.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: "The Council of Ministers has recognised the importance of prioritising children and young people and has committed to ‘Putting Children First’ in the Government Plan, Common Strategic Policy and Children and Young People’s Plan. The Government is committed to learning lessons from the past and to improving outcomes for our children and young people, both now and in the future. I am delighted to see the launch of this campaign and would encourage Islanders to add their support to the Pledge to Put Children First."
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec and Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois added: "We want Jersey to be the best place for children and young people to grow up and for them to have access to world-class services. Therefore, we want everyone in Jersey to play their part in Putting Children First, from politicians to businesses, teachers to police officers, family and friends to neighbours. Children are everyone’s responsibility.
"If you agree that, as a Government and a community, we should Put Children First, you can show your support by supporting the Pledge and help to build a child-friendly Jersey that has children at its heart."
Charlie Parker, Chief Executive Officer for the Government, added: "As Jersey’s largest employer we will encourage everyone who works for the Government to support this important initiative to Put Children First. Everyone who works for the public service, no matter what department, has a role to play in the care and protection of children and helping to build a child-friendly Jersey.
"Supporting the Pledge means that you agree with the eight points and believe that children should be the priority in Jersey."
And Mark Rogers, Director General of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, said: "This campaign is being launched on World Children’s Day, which marks the world’s biggest celebration of children’s rights. We want to show Jersey’s commitment to Putting Children First and to ensure we continue to uphold the rights of every child in the Island.
"Today is a day to listen to children, celebrate their rights and take action to support a better future for every child. We want every child and young person to be able to learn and achieve, grow up safely and healthy, and be valued and involved. This is why we are launching an Island-wide pledge and we encourage everyone in Jersey to show their support to Put Children First."
Today, every school in Jersey will receive a Putting Children First campaign pack and every Government of Jersey employee will be asked to support the Pledge, along with businesses in the Chamber of Commerce.
The Government of Jersey is also launching a public consultation today about the plans to introduce a legal duty for States Members and other public authorities to consider children’s rights as part of their functions.
Under the proposals, which form part of the Government Plan, a new law will indirectly incorporate the UNCRC into Jersey legislation. The consultation will run for 12 weeks closing on 11 February 2020.
The Government launched the Pledge to Put Children First in September 2018. Ministers, politicians and public service leaders have signed up to the eight-point pledge, committing them to:
- Listen to children and young people
- Support families that need extra help
- Provide children in care with a safe, loving, secure home
- Expand Early Help
- Recruit and retain a professional workforce
- Make it easier to share data and information
- Ensure sufficient funding is available
- Publish clear standards and be held to account for achieving them.