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Children's Commissioner for England

The Children Act 2004 introduced, for the first time, the role of an independent Children's Commissioner for England. The Children and Families Act 2014 implemented recommendations in John Dunford’s Review of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner including:

  • Giving the Commissioner a statutory remit to ‘promote and protect children’s rights’;
  • Introducing changes to make the Commissioner more independent from Government.

The Commissioner, whose primary function is promoting and protecting the rights of children in England, was appointed in March 2005. This includes promoting awareness of the views and interests of children. The Commissioner's duties include:

  • Advising the government of children's views and interests;
  • Encouraging organisations whose activities affect children to take account of children's views;
  • Considering and researching matters affecting children's interests, and publishing reports on them;
  • Considering the potential effect on the rights of children of government policy proposals and government proposals for legislation;
  • Bringing any matter to the attention of either House of Parliament;
  • Investigating the availability and effectiveness of complaints procedures so far as relating to children;
  • Investigate the availability and effectiveness of advocacy services for children;
  • Investigating any other matter relating to the rights or interests of children;
  • Monitoring the implementation in England of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

From 1 April 2014, the Children’s Commissioner took over the work previously carried out by the Children's Rights Director in relation to children living away from home, and that office ceased to exist.

External link: Children's Commissioner for England Website


Children's Commissioner for Wales

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales Act 2001 introduced the role of an independent Children's Commissioner for Wales, whose general role is to safeguard and promote the rights and welfare of children in Wales. The Commissioner’s duties include advising everyone about the role of the Commissioner and children’s rights; meeting children and listening to what they say about issues that affect them; talking to children about the Commissioner’s work and what else they think the Commissioner should do; looking at the work of local authorities, health trusts and other organisations to see if they are thinking about children’s rights; and telling people who can make a difference what children and young people think is important and how to improve things.

External link: Children's Commissioner for Wales website


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