Pupils from two Welsh primary schools have shared concerns about plastic waste and healthy eating with AMs at a special event hosted by Swansea University’s Morgan Academy.
The young researchers from Awel Y Mor Primary School in Port Talbot and Ysgol Pant y Rhedyn in Llanfairfechan not only spoke to members of the Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee but also secured pledges to support efforts to reduce plastic waste at Aberavon Beach.
The committee members were at the Academy for their short inquiry into the impact of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011. This measure brought United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Welsh law and requires ministers to consider children's rights when making decisions.
The Lleisiau Bach Little Voices team at Swansea and Bangor universities uses the Convention to underpin its work with young researchers and have supported 120 groups in schools and communities throughout Wales which have benefitted from the team's support so far.
The Awel y Mor research has been concentrating on plastic waste and pupils were able to present their findings and recommendations at the meeting which brought local and national elected members together with businesses, Swansea University researchers, non-governmental organisations and the police.
Professor Jane Williams, who manages the Lleisiau Bach team, said: “'Today's engagement between child researchers and AMs in itself suggests impact of the 2011 Measure, which laid down a clear signal that in Wales, children are regarded as citizens with rights now, not just citizens of the future.
“Repeatedly Lleisiau Bach projects have demonstrated the value of this approach in practice, enabling children to use research to build their case for change and to engage with those who can help achieve change. “
Lynne Neagle, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee said: “These events are a great opportunity for AMs to meet directly with children and learn about their views and experiences. Listening to their voices is crucial our work.
“We would like to thank Lleisiau Bach and the young people who participated for taking the time to meet with us. We look forward to reflecting their experiences in our final report and recommendations to the Welsh Government.”