Children Bill [HL]
Lord Northbourne (Crossbench)
My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Baroness for that explanation. I asked for an explanation and I got one, although I am not wholly happy about it. I recognise the Government's intention is to put children at the very centre of the commissioner's work, but I think that when talking about children they are thinking of teenagers in particular. I know that younger children have opinions. But in varying degrees as they get younger and younger their opinions are perhaps influenced by short-term considerations and a lack of knowledge of the world around them; and parents and carers have a role to play in interpreting the needs and wishes of younger children. I should like to draw to the attention of the House the fact that half the nation's children are under the age of 13.
We must not think that teenagers represent children. Indeed, teenagers often have a special agenda which is different from that of younger children. Having said that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.