Children’s organisations launch YES FOR CHILDREN

Published date: 
24 Sep 2012

Monday 24 September 2012: For immediate release

Yes for Children, a national campaign led by Barnardos, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the ISPCC and Campaign for Children, has been formally launched today in Dublin.  This follows the Government announcement that the Children’s Referendum will be held on Saturday 10 November 2012.  The four organisations are proud to announce that they will work together as Yes for Children, to campaign for a YES vote.  Yes for Children also gave its official response to the Government wording, of the constitutional amendment. 

Former Supreme Court Justice, Catherine McGuinness, and Chair of Campaign for Children, said: “The case for constitutional change is undeniable, and so we must take bold and decisive action. I believe that this referendum is an historic opportunity to ensure this generation, and future generations, of children are better protected, respected and heard.  I’m delighted these four prominent organisations – much respected for their unstinting work with children in Ireland – have come together to form the Yes for Children campaign.”

The Yes for Children national campaign believes this referendum will:

  • provide the highest level of legal protection to vulnerable children and more support to  families;
  • allow up to 2,000 children, in long-term state care, to be adopted and given a second chance at a loving, stable and permanent family;
  • ensure the best interests and views of children are part of decisions made by  child and family law courts;  and
  • Set out how we are as a country and how we value children.

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, speaking at the launch, said: “We advocate for children and families on a daily basis.  Our organisations have campaigned for this referendum for nearly 20 years and we believe that this will prove a vital step in reflecting the way our society views and values children.  We are asking the people of Ireland to stand together, and join us in this campaign to make our country one of the best places in the world to be a child.”

Yes for children is committed to a rigorous and honest debate on the issues that affect the lives of children in Ireland. We look forward to engaging in a positive and constructive campaign. All of us want to ensure the things that happened in the past can never be repeated.

Ashley Balbirnie, Chief Executive of the ISPCC, said: “Turning a blind eye to the suffering of vulnerable children is no longer acceptable. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we create a society where children are protected and valued, and have the right to a safe and happy childhood. We believe that, by our organisations working together, we are sending a strong message as to our commitment and belief in the need for change.”

Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos, said: “We are committed to meeting and talking with as many people as possible in the hope that everyone understands the importance of a Yes vote. Childhood is a fragile and precious time, and it only happens once. This referendum is our chance to do what we can to protect it.”

Further information on Yes for Children can be found at


For more information and interview bids, please contact:
Shane Kelly, Communications Director
Mobile:087 6193004

Notes to Editor:

  1. Yes for Children is a national campaign led by Barnardos, Children’s Rights Alliance, ISPCC and Campaign for Children calling for a YES vote in the children’s referendum. We believe that this referendum is an historic opportunity to ensure that this and future generations of children in Ireland are better protected, respected and heard.
  2. Yes for Children will undertake a national tour to encourage voters in communities throughout Ireland to support the referendum on 10th November
  3. Yes for Children will have an active and visible presence at key events (e.g. this week's National Ploughing Championships) to increase widespread awareness about the importance of the referendum on 10th November
  4. Yes for Children spokespeople will participate in set-piece discussions and debates about the referendum in the media and in other public fora
  5. Yes for Children will have an active online presence about the referendum and the need to vote Yes on 10th November
Yes For Children