Acting Leader calls for 'Future Wales Charter' to place young people at heart of policymaking
“Children and young people will live longest with the actions we take today” and they must be “at the core” of decisions – Llyr Gruffydd MS
On the first day of the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Llandovery (Monday 29 May 2023), Plaid Cymru Acting Leader Llyr Gruffydd has called on three of Wales’s Commissioners – Children, Welsh Language and Future Generations – to work together with the nation’s youth to form a ‘Future Wales Charter’ designed to protect and promote children and young people’s interests and ambitions.
Pointing to recent research, Llyr Gruffydd MS voiced concerns about the impact of climate change, the lack of Welsh-speaking teachers and the overwhelming pressures of social media on children and young people’s mental health, adding that they risk undermining their rights and wellbeing.
The Plaid Cymru Acting Leader said that the Charter should form a blueprint for the Welsh Government of the day’s programme for government to ensure that the objectives within it become “reality not just aspiration.”
Speaking from Llandovery, Plaid Cymru’s Acting Leader Llyr Gruffydd MS said:
“As children and young people gather in Llandovery this week to celebrate their culture, we can all learn from the Urdd’s mantra of taking action for Wales and for our fellow citizens – and that includes the next generation.
“As a father of four, I know that the lives of children and young people can be complex and challenging.
“Figures from YouGov polling show that one in three young people are experiencing climate anxiety whilst one in six have a diagnosable mental health condition.
“Children and young people will live longest with the actions we take today. It is vital that their interests and ambitions are at the core of the government of the day’s decision-making.
“Not just as a set of guiding principles such as the Well-being of Future Generations Act, but as tangible national objectives such as adequate mental health care for all, legislating on protecting biodiversity, and a right to Welsh-medium education from cradle to college.
“These objectives should be devised and agreed by young people themselves – in consultation with the pioneering Welsh Youth Parliament and other forums – to create a Future Wales Charter, with the Children’s Commissioner, Future Generations Commissioner and Welsh Language Commissioner guiding the work.
“The Charter should then act as a blueprint for the Welsh Government of the day’s programme of government where young people are concerned, to ensure that these objectives become reality, not just aspiration.”