Published date:28 Feb 2012
Tuesday 28 February 2012: For immediate release
By Tanya Ward, Chief Executive
Government Urged to Uphold Children’s Rights on International Stage
“Government is today presented with a golden opportunity to take to the international stage and tell the world that Ireland is committed to the rights of children. Today, at the United Nations in Geneva, the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on a communications procedure will be open for signature at an official signing ceremony. The Children’s Rights Alliance calls on the Government to urgently sign and ratify this Protocol, thus making Ireland one of the first countries in the world to do so.
“There are no legal obstacles preventing Ireland’s ratification of this important protocol and it would be further indication of the Government’s commitment to uphold and vindicate the rights of children. Ultimately, the Protocol is a last chance saloon for individuals or groups wishing to raise awareness of a children’s rights violation that has not been dealt with at home.
“The new Optional Protocol will allow children and their representatives to bring complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the treaty body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the UNCRC. This would provide complainants, who have exhausted all domestic avenues of complaint, including the Ombudsman for Children, the courts, and the Equality Tribunal where relevant, with a new tool to resolve their issue.
“Given Ireland’s past record on children’s rights, ratification of this Protocol would send out a strong message that Ireland truly values and listens to children, and will do much for Ireland’s international reputation. With the final adoption of Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review recommendations on the 15 March, this is too good an opportunity to miss.”
For further information, please contact:
Carys Thomas, Communications Director
Tel: 01 6629400
Mobile: 087 7702845
Notes to Editor:
- The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19 December 2011: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/17session/docs/A-HRC-RES-...
- This is the third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The first Optional Protocol to the UNCRC is on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. Ireland signed this Optional Protocol on 7 September 2000 and ratified it on 18 November 2002. The second Optional Protocol to the UNCRC is on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Ireland signed this Optional Protocol on 7 September 2000 but has not yet ratified it.