New legislation should undergo child impact assessment - Children's Commissioner

The Children's Commissioner says it is about time the Government considered the views of young people when forming legislation.  

A report out today, Are We Listening? Children's Participation Rights in Government Policy, by the Children's Commission focuses on children and young people's right to participate in all matters affecting them.

Andrew Becroft says politicians claim there are already too many people to take into consideration.

"Shame on us if we relegate children - a quarter of the population - to just another interest group. They are without a voice often, certainly without a vote. They need us to take into account their views."

Becroft says children are surprisingly well-informed.

"They're keen to express a view. If we lock them out of decision-making, we run the risk of them losing faith in the whole decision-making and democratic process."

He says there are many ways to include young people in policy-making.

"Surveys, small groups, focus groups, visiting schools - it starts with central Government. We need every piece of planned legislation that might affect children directly or indirectly to be subject to a child impact assessment."

He points out councils have declared climate emergencies primarily in response to student-led marches.



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