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(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 functions 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.'.—[Mrs. Brooke.]

2 Nov 2004 : Column 194

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mrs. Brooke: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 2—Powers of consideration and representation by Children's Commissioner for Wales—

'(1)   Section 75A of the Care Standards Act 2000 (c.14) (additional powers of consideration and representation) is amended as follows.

(2)   Omit subsections (1) and (2) and insert—

   "The Commissioner may consider, and make representations about, any matter affecting the rights and welfare of children in Wales to—

(a)   the Assembly, and

(b)   where the matter is not devolved and the Commissioner considers it appropriate, to the responsible United Kingdom Minister of the Crown or Government department.".'.

New clause 3—Requirement to review working of Part 1 of the Act—

'(1)   The Children's Commissioner shall—

(a)   keep under review the working of Part 1 of this Act and in doing so consult with children and representatives of organisations concerned with children's rights and interests;

(b)   make reports on it to the Secretary of State in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)   The first report under this section shall be made as soon as is practicable after the third anniversary of the coming into force of this Part.

(3)   A subsequent report under this section shall be made at such time as the Children's Commissioner thinks fit, not being earlier than three years after the making of the last previous report.

(4)   A report under this section—

(a)   shall include the views of the Children's Commissioner on the adequacy and effectiveness of this Part; and

(b)   may contain recommendations as to amendments to this Part which in the opinion of the Children's Commissioner are necessary or desirable.

(5)   The Secretary of State shall as soon as is reasonably practicable lay a copy of every report sent to him under this section before each House of Parliament.'.

New clause 13—Children's Commissioner: functions (No.2)—

'(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—

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