Participation and children's rights

Page updated on: 01/05/2024

Listening to you is really important to us. Your active participation is one of our top priorities and we are aiming to embed a culture of participation across the Council that gives you all a voice, and ensures that your opinions can influence decisions that affect you and your daily lives.

So, what is participation?

Participation is about giving young people the opportunity to have their voices heard and to support them to make decisions for themselves.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child says that you “have the right to say what you think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect you and to have your opinions taken into account” (Article 12 of the UNCRC – United National Convention on the Rights of the Child).

Did you know that everyone under the age of 18 years old have 42 rights which are listed in the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights Of The Child)? Here are a few:

  • The right to a healthy life
  • The right to education
  • The right to be with your family
  • The right to play and relax
  • A right to a good standard of living
  • The right to be protected from abuse and harm
  • The right to freedom to gather together and join organisations

We will try to support and provide opportunities for you to be involved in decision making processes locally, regionally and nationally, we promote and encourage participation at all levels.

How is this done?

We work to ensure that all of you know what your rights are and how to be involved in the decisions that affect your lives. We will continue to make sure that you all have the chance to be actively involved. This means listening to your opinions, concerns and views, to ensure that we run provide services that meet your needs and improve the way we work.  

This is done by working with a range of groups and organisations such as:

This is done through many different ways from events such as the Annual Youth Conference, Insight Budget Event and Focus Group Workshops; Consultations and surveys. Most of our time is spent helping run and support Carmarthenshire Youth Council (CYC), which is a platform to actively support participation in decision making processes and gives all children and young people a voice in Carmarthenshire make a difference and to influence change.

Every Primary, Secondary and Special School in Wales are meant to have School Councils as this is law in Wales so whether you are an elected School Councillor or if you have an issue or a concern about school life then you could let your school council know so that they can try and find out some answers for you or can voice your concerns to decision makers.

The Pupil Voice Wales website has a lot of information and resources to help you and your school council.

To make sure that young people’s voices form Carmarthenshire are listened to and can affect decisions on a National Level we work closely with 'Young Wales' who listen to you and empowering your voice across Wales. They work on 12 priority areas such as Bullying, Wellbeing, Children Rights, Mental Health and so much more. To find out more about their work visit the Young Wales website.

We also, work on a UK level with the British Youth Council and UK Youth Parliament. Visit their website to see the kind of work that they have been doing and see if you think you could make a difference to your Carmarthenshire.

Recently we have been working with CADW (Children taking Action Differently in Wales) which is a group of young people who represent Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Ceredigion who meet to talk about issues around making sure that children and young people are safe and protected from harm. The views and opinions of CADW are then taken to a group of Adults who are called 'Cysur' - The Mid and West Wales Safeguarding Board.

CADW set 3 main priorities this year which are:

  • Mental Health
  • Child Exploitation
  • Substance Misuse

Education & Schools