O'Neill meets with Children's Commissioner
Minister Michelle O'Neill today met with Patricia Lewsley, NI Commissioner for Children & Young People to discuss the many issues of importance to children and young people for which her department has responsibility.
The Minister said: “My department’s vision is for “a thriving and sustainable rural community and environment” and here in the north of Ireland children and young people form a substantial part of the rural community.
"To help meet this vision my Department has a three year draft Action Plan 2011 - 2013 which sets out our proposed work to encourage greater participation and direct engagement with children and young people as well as with their representative organisations.
"Helping to address rural poverty, improving rural childcare provision, developing the recreation and social use of our Forests, leading the way in agri-food training at our CAFRE campuses, are just a few of the ways my Department is helping to make a difference to children and young people in rural areas."
The Minister added: "As someone who comes from a rural area, I am only to well aware of how all these interventions are making a difference to the lives of children and young people on a daily basis. I am determined that further initiatives are developed to ensure that the children and young people in rural areas have access to the same opportunities and quality of living as those in urban areas."