Children's Rights Alliance Response to Universal Periodic Review Hearing

Published date: 
5 Oct 2011

Thursday 6 October 2011: For immediate release

Children’s Rights Alliance Press Statement
By Senator Jillian van Turnhout

Alliance Response to Universal Periodic Review Hearing

“The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, has today made unequivocal statements on the international stage at the Universal Periodic Review hearing in Geneva, including three key commitments in respect of children’s rights, namely to:

  • hold a referendum to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution in 2012;
  • ratify the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; and
  • place the Children First Guidance on a statutory footing within 12 months.


“Minister Shatter’s commitments are now a matter of international record, and further underline the Government’s positive record on child protection in its first seven months in office.  The Children’s Rights Alliance, which has long campaigned for all three commitments, looks forward to their speedy implementation.  The constitutional amendment on children’s rights must be moved up to the top of the political agenda.  The successful passage of a strong amendment is necessary to secure the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Ireland. 

“This international peer led scrutiny will boost the advocacy work of NGOs in Ireland.  The Alliance is impressed by the substantial focus on children’s rights within the questions asked by countries during the hearing.  While we welcome the commitments pledged today by Minister Shatter in relation to children, we will be watching to ensure that they are delivered and do not become paper promises.  Another outstanding issue, not adequately addressed to date by Government, is the unacceptable practice of detaining children in St Patrick’s Institution – a blight on our human rights record in relation to children.”

Senator Jillian van Turnhout
Chief Executive


For future information please contact:
Carys Thomas, Communications Director
01 6629400 / 087 7702845

Notes to Editor:

  • Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, faced a jury of his peers this morning in Geneva; this was part of a three-hour hearing of Ireland’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN.  Today was the first time that Ireland faced direct scrutiny of its track record on rights by other United Nations’ Member States.
  • The Alliance’s position on constitutional reform is here:
  • The Alliance’s briefing paper on the UNCRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography is here:
  • The Alliance’s issued a press statement regarding Children First Guidance in July:
  • The Children’s Rights Alliance is part of the ‘Your Rights Rights Now’ coalition, which held a breakfast screening of the UPR hearing live from Geneva this morning in the Connolly Room, Liberty Hall, Dublin.
  • High resolution photos from the ‘Your Rights Rights Now’ coalition can be accessed at There is no reproduction fee.
Children's Rights Alliance