Aled Roberts conferenceFunky Dragon, the Childen and Young People's Assembly for Wales, has announced that the Welsh Labour Government is not renewing its funding for the next three years and will probably be forced to close.
Reacting to the news, Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children and Young People, said:
"I'm very concerned that, following this announcement, Wales could soon be the only nation in Europe without a dedicated system for young people to scrutinise Government and Assembly decisions. Young people have a right for their opinions to be heard throughout government and politics in general, and unless any replacement is planned I'm worried that young people could be ignored and side-lined in future decisions affecting them.
"Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) gives young people the right to have a say when adults are making decisions which affect them, and it is particularly disappointing that this Welsh Labour Government, which has previously been very proud of its record on children's rights, is now removing a fundamental means of engaging young people in the political process".
Sam Bennett, Chair of Liberal Youth Wales, added:
"It is clear from previous reviews of Funky Dragon that, despite the hard work of the young people involved, it perhaps wasn't as effective it should be. Any youth body needs to ensure it is fully representative of young people throughout Wales.
"The young people of Wales need a fully-fledged Youth Assembly that's completely independent of Government to scrutinise decisions taken that affect Welsh youth. Liberal Youth Wales will fight to make that a reality, and ensure that this Welsh Labour Government doesn't keep ignoring the voices of young people."