Wednesday 9 December 2009: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
**SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET PRESS STATEMENT**
Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive
ALLIANCE WELCOMES COMMITMENT TO HOLD
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS REFERENDUM AND TO ACT ON RYAN REPORT
“The Children’s Rights Alliance warmly welcomes this evening’s announcement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews TD, of the Government’s commitment to earmark ‘€3 million to finance the holding of a referendum on the rights of the child’ in 2010. The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land and until it changes, children will continue to have their rights ignored. A commitment to hold a referendum next year takes us one step closer to realising the rights of children in Ireland.
“2009 will be remembered as the year of the Ryan and Murphy reports: the personal stories we heard on our radios, our televisions and indeed in our families’ histories that are now etched in Ireland’s conscience. We also welcome the €15 million allocated to the delivery of the Government’s Ryan Report Implementation Plan. This is a significant portion of the €25 million – pledged up until 2011 – committed to in summer 2009. This provision will support survivors of abuse through the allocation of additional resources for counselling and facilitate the recruitment of a minimum of 200 additional social workers for the protection and care of today’s children.
“The Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children, following two years of work, is due to issue its final report to the Oireachtas on 16 December. These commitments indicate welcomed political leadership. Given the weakened public confidence in our child protection and care systems following the Ryan and Murphy reports, we believe that changing the Constitution is not only needed to uphold children’s rights but will also be a living memorial to atone for the abuses of the past.”
Jillian van Turnhout
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For further information, please contact:
Carys Thomas, Communications Director
Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087-7702845; Fax: (01) 662 9355