Northern Ireland

New children's commissioner appointed

Chris Quinn has been announced as the new Commissioner for Children and Young People for Northern Ireland.

The director of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, he will take up his new post in September.

He succeeds Koulla Yiasouma, who served as commissioner from 2015 until March this year.

The appointment was made by Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris, due to there being no ministers in the executive to make the decision themselves.

Mr Quinn has been at the head of the Youth Forum for the last 15 years.

Key issues that Mr Quinn has worked on have included the establishment of a NI Youth Assembly, lobbying for votes at 16 and prioritising the needs of young people who experience inequality and disadvantage.

Chief Executive of NICCY, Mairéad McCafferty, said Mr Quinn brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role.

“We look forward to continuing our vital work - particularly in the current context in NI – with Chris our new commissioner in safeguarding and promoting the rights and best interests of young people in NI," she said.

Head of the Civil Service, Jayne Brady welcomed the announcement.

“I believe that Chris has all the skills and experience needed to take forward this important work and I want to wish him every success when he takes up his post," she said.

“I also want to express my gratitude to the outgoing Children’s Commissioner Koulla Yiasouma. The energy, drive and passion she brought to the role ensured she was at the forefront of championing children and young people’s issues."