The Children's Commissioner wants the role of Children and Housing Minister to be split.
A replacement for Senator Sam Mezec, who resigned from government last week, is due to be announced today (17 November).
Senator Mezec was the first politician to become Children's Minister in 2018, which was combined with his other responsibility as Minister for Housing.
The role is currently vacant after he stood down to support last week's vote of no confidence vote against the Chief Minister, which ultimately failed.
Speaking on Twitter, Deborah McMillan says the two roles are in conflict, especially around issues like the child's right to housing.
2/2 Access to housing is governed by law that discriminates between children based on the status of their parent. This does not sit well with commitments made in the Children's Plan. How can a Minister with this dual role square this?? https://t.co/3knE4EmrGM— Deborah McMillan - Children's Commissioner (@ChildComJersey) November 16, 2020
The Commissioner says she has had more than 600 enquiries since 2018 from children and families where their rights are not being met.
She has called for a full-time Children's Minister 'to hear their stories and take action to get it right for all children.'
The GOJ must see their role as fulfilling clear legal obligations to each and every child - with a Minister dedicated to implementing this— Deborah McMillan - Children's Commissioner (@ChildComJersey) November 16, 2020
The previous Minister has spoken out ahead of the imminent appointment, criticising the Chief Minister for not announcing who he plans to nominate for the role.
I have to say, given how important both the Children's and Housing portfolios are, it isn't acceptable that the Chief Minister has not made public who he will seek to nominate as the new minister— Senator Sam Mézec (@SamMezecJsy) November 16, 2020
The public have a right to know so they can express a view to their representatives
He also tweeted to say that States members have already been told of the prospective appointment, which has since been echoed by fellow States member, Deputy Kevin Pamplin.
Tomorrow we will deal with the CM’s proposal for the Housing & Childrens Minister. Personally my view is they should two separate roles. But that is not being proposed sadly. I WONT be standing for this role but will continue to hold that Minister to account & wish them success.— Deputy Kevin Pamplin (@KevinPamplin) November 16, 2020
Jersey Cares has also taken to twitter on the issue, to underline the importance of the role of Children's Minister and of making the right choice:
On Tues 17th Nov, @StatesAssembly @John_Le_Fondre will appoint a new Minister for Children.— Jersey Cares (@cares_jersey) November 16, 2020
For those who put themselves forward and those who will vote, please know this is a solemn responsibility, one @NicolaSturgeon called the 'most sacred'.
For the person who takes this on, you do it for all the people we meet who are:— Jersey Cares (@cares_jersey) November 16, 2020
scared to love because transitory, bureaucratised relationships have tamed their hearts and quashed their souls.
For the little children we meet, not even teenagers, who already know how to harden themselves to the world because adults have created systems which treat them like animals— Jersey Cares (@cares_jersey) November 16, 2020
For the people who ask us 'why do we have to beg?' 'why is it so hard!?' 'why me?', 'how can they love me if they leave? ' and 'what is wrong with me that I don't matter to anyone?'— Jersey Cares (@cares_jersey) November 16, 2020
So @StatesAssembly— Jersey Cares (@cares_jersey) November 16, 2020
, this is not the time for grandstanding, political games or egos.
It is your most solemn responsibility. And you owe it to defenseless children (1/3 of children in care are under 5) to get this right