- As a child/young person in Wales, your rights include the right to be involved in decisions that are made about you. The Welsh Government has also committed to putting children’s rights at the heart of everything they do.
- There are different ways of getting your voice heard in decision making in Wales. It depends whether you need to sort something out for yourself, or there’s something you want to change which affects everyone in Wales.
- Understanding what your rights are and knowing about the laws that can help you realise your rights is the start of getting your voice heard
There are lots of occasions in your life when adults will make decisions about you. You may think that you have no voice, but in fact your life is full of choices and decisions that you can make.
To start off with, the decisions you have control over might be decisions about ‘the little things’ in life. As you grow up, you can make more and more decisions yourself. These include decisions about who you live with, and where, where you go to school, medical treatment you might need.
If an adult has to make a decision about you, Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child gives you the right to have your views taken into account in the decision making process. The older you are, the more opportunity to should have to be heard and to make decisions.
BEING INVOLVED IN DECISIONS ABOUT YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL
If something is happening to you – perhaps you’re having a problem getting the help you need at school, or your parents are splitting up and you feel like you’re being left out of the decisions that are being made, or perhaps you’re in trouble with the police but you’re not being treated properly, you should be able to get your voice heard. If you don’t know what to do, it can make you feel even worse about what’s going on.
Your right to be listened to and to be involved in decision making applies anywhere where there’s a public organisation involved. This could be your school, social services, the courts, the police, or people involved in treating you in hospital, to name a few.
We’ve put together a list of decisions you might want to be involved in, with an explanation of how you can get your voice heard.
PARTICIPATION IN THE BIG DECISIONS!
Getting your voice heard in the decisions that affect you in your daily life is very important. It’s also important that you understand that you have a voice in the big decisions that are made that affect everyone in Wales. Decision making in Wales can happen at the UK level, because many laws that apply in Wales are still made in the Westminster parliament. However, with devolution, more and more decisions about life in Wales are made in Cardiff. The Welsh Government work with the National Assembly of Wales to make decisions about what the law will be in Wales. Some decisions are also made by local authorities.
COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED
AND IF YOU CAN'T GET YOUR VOICE HEARD...
If you’re struggling to make your voice heard even though there are procedures in place, or a decision is being made where there doesn’t seem to be a way to make your voice heard, you can get in touch with the Children’s Commissioner, Wales.
Last updated: June 2018