WQ88701 (e) Tabled on 14/07/2023

What plans does the Welsh Government have to address the overrepresentation of Asian, African, Muslim, Roma, gypsy and traveller children in the criminal justice system, as illustrated in the UN’s concluding observations in June?

Answered by Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip | Answered on 19/07/2023

The UK Government is responsible for Justice, including youth justice, but devolved Welsh services such as housing, education, social services and healthcare, play a vital role in supporting children who right be at risk of coming into contact with the justice system.

The Anti-racist Wales Action Plan is the Welsh Government’s commitment to take action with its partners, to make changes so that the lives of Asian, African, Muslim, Roma, gypsy and traveller people are considerably better in all spheres of society. The Plan has been co-constructed with key delivery bodies and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people. It is guided by lived experience, data and research findings highlighting areas of racial disparity, together with the huge body of evidence in the form of previous reports, public inquiries and other recommendations for change.

The Anti-racist Wales Action Plan includes a chapter on crime and justice, which sets out the work we are taking forward to tackle systemic discrimination in the justice system. Additionally, Criminal Justice Board for Wales partners including Policing in Wales, HM Prison and Probation Service in Wales, Youth Justice Board Cymru and the Welsh Government, have developed a Criminal Justice in Wales Anti-Racism Plan setting out a range of system-wide commitments to embed an anti-racist approach to criminal justice across Wales.

The Youth Justice Blueprint for Wales, published in July 2019, sets out our vision for youth justice in Wales, taking a ‘children first’ rights approach.  This means ensuring our efforts are child-centred rather than service focused, responding in a way that recognises the best interests of the child in order to best meet individual need.