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Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011

The Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 (‘the Measure’) places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to have due regard to the rights and obligations in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when making decisions of a strategic nature. When this Measure was passed by the (then) National Assembly for Wales, Wales became the first country in the UK to integrate the UNCRC into domestic law. The Measure also:

  • places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to prepare and publish a Children’s Scheme which sets out the arrangements made for the purpose of securing compliance with the duty to have due regard to the rights and obligations in the UNCRC. The first Children’s Scheme was published in 2014 and the most recent Scheme was published in 2021 (see ‘related information’ below);
  • places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to promote knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC; and
  • places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to consult on the possible application of the Measure to persons who have reached 18, but are not yet 25. Following consultation (see ‘related information’ below) the decision was taken not to apply the Measure to this age group.

The Explanatory Notes to the Measure provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force

In accordance with section 11 the Measure came into force at the end of the period of two months following Royal Approval (in other words, on 16 May 2011).

Subordinate legislation made under the Measure

No subordinate legislation has been made under the Measure.

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd

The Measure was introduced on 14 June 2010 by Huw Lewis AM, Deputy Minister for Children at the time. The Measure was passed by Senedd Cymru (known then as the National Assembly for Wales) on 18 January 2011.
More information about the Measure is available on the Senedd website including a record of the passage of the Measure through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum which was prepared by the Welsh Government (as revised after Stage 2). 

The Measure received Royal Approval on 16 March 2011.

Related material and information:

  • Children’s rights scheme | GOV.WALES
  • A consultation asking, “Should the Welsh Government apply the ‘Articles’ in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1 to young people aged 18-24yrs?” was launched by the Welsh Government in October 2012. The Government’s report was published in March 2013. Based on the responses the Government decided not to apply the articles of the UNCRC to 18 to 24 year olds.
  • A consultation was held between December 2020 and March 2021 inviting views on remaking the Scheme for 2021. The consultation is available on the GOV.WALES website: Draft Children’s Rights Scheme 2021 | GOV.WALES As a result of the consultation the Welsh Government will publish a report every two and a half years setting out how they have supported children’s rights. The first of these reports was published in July 2023.
  • Children's rights in Wales | GOV.WALES
Published on
Last updated
16 February 2024