Children Bill [HL] — 17 Jun 2004 at 11:00

Clause 2 <[i>General function of Commissioner]:

moved Amendment No. 4:

Page 1, line 7, leave out subsections (1) to (8) and insert-

(1) The Children's Commissioner has, subject to the following provisions of this Part, the function of promoting and safeguarding the rights and interests of children in England. (2) The Children's Commissioner may in particular under this section- (a) encourage persons exercising functions or engaged in activities affecting children to take account of their rights, views and interests; (b) advise the Secretary of State on the rights, views and interests of children; (c) review and report on the effectiveness of- (i) advice and advocacy services; (ii) complaints procedures; and (iii) inspection and whistle-blowing arrangements; so far as relating to children; (d) review and report on any other matter relating to the rights, views and interests of children.

(3) The Children's Commissioner must take reasonable steps to involve children in the discharge of his function under this section, and in particular to- (a) ensure that children are made aware of his function and how they may communicate with him; (b) consult children, and organisations working with children, on the matters he proposes to review and report on under subsection (2)(c) or (d); (c) ensure that the content of any material issued by the Commissioner or his staff, whether printed or in electronic or other form, which is intended to be used by children, takes account, so far as practicable, of the means of communication, level of understanding and usual language of the intended recipients. (4) The Children's Commissioner must for the purposes of subsection (3) have particular regard to groups of children who do not have other adequate means by which they can make their views known. (5) The Children's Commissioner or a person authorised by him may for the purposes of his function under this section at any reasonable time- (a) enter any premises, other than a private dwelling, for the purposes of interviewing any child accommodated or cared for there; and (b) if the child consents, interview the child in private. (6) Any person exercising functions under any enactment must supply the Children's Commissioner with such information in that person's possession relating to those functions as the Children's Commissioner may reasonably request for the purposes of his function under this section (provided that the information is information which that person may, apart from this subsection, lawfully disclose to him). (7) The Children's Commissioner may provide assistance to a child to bring legal proceedings where the child is unable to bring legal proceedings; and it appears to the Commissioner reasonable to do so and there is no other person or body likely to provide such assistance or take such action (or both). (8) In considering for the purpose of his function under this section what constitutes the rights and interests of children (generally or so far as relating to a particular matter) the Children's Commissioner must have regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (9) In subsection (8) the reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is to the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20th November 1989, subject to any reservations, objections or interpretative declarations by the United Kingdom for the time being in force. (10) For the purposes of this section "children" includes- (a) young people in custody under the age of 22; (b) those young people for whom a local authority has duties under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 (c. 35); and (c) young people with learning disabilities under the age of 21."

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 114; Not-Contents, 93.

Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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Lord Bernstein of CraigweilLabno
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Lord Clarke of HampsteadLabno
Lord Clinton-Davis Labno
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Lord Corbett of Castle ValeLabno
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Lord Evans of ParksideLabno
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Lord Haskel Lab (minister)no
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Baroness Hilton of EggardonLabno
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Baroness Howells of St DavidsLab (minister)no
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Lord Hunt of Kings HeathLabno
Lord Irvine of LairgLabno
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Lord Smith of CliftonLDem (front bench)aye
Lord Taverne LDem (front bench)aye
Lord Thomas of GresfordLDem (front bench)aye
Baroness Thomas of WalliswoodLDem (front bench)aye
Lord Tordoff LDemaye
Lord Wallace of SaltaireLDem (front bench)aye
Baroness Walmsley LDem (front bench)aye
Baroness Williams of CrosbyLDem (front bench)aye

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