Public Engagement - Establishment of a Commission on Children

The Chief Executive in her 2017 Policy Address announced that the Government planned to set up a Commission on Children in mid-2018 to amalgamate the efforts made by relevant bureaux/departments and child concern groups on children’s issues. A Preparatory Committee chaired by the Chief Executive was convened in September 2017 to advise the Chief Executive on the status, terms of reference, structure, composition and initial work plan for the Commission on Children.

In November 2017, the Government launched a public engagement to seek views on the following issues relating to the Commission on Children:

a) the expected role, functions and composition of the Commission; 

b) the structure of the Commission, eg the types and focuses of working groups to be set up under the Commission; 

c) the priority areas or issues to be addressed by the Commission on Children in the first two years;

d) any suggested independent research studies or reviews to be commissioned by the Commission to facilitate its work; 

e) any funding schemes to be set up under the Commission, and if so, their objectives, criteria for funding and target applicants; and 

f) the themes and approach for the Commission to undertake promotional and public education initiatives.

In response to the above engagement, the Law Society has made a written submission to advocate, among other things, the priorities that the proposed Commission should focus on. Such include raising the awareness of children’s rights, building a children’s central databank and promoting child-focused thinking. The Law Society considers that in the long run, Hong Kong should have an independent Commission on Children, with its own mandate as recommended by United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The full submission is available at

http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/pub_e/news/submissions/20180228.pdf

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