10 Nov 2015
The Clock is Ticking – Just 64 Days Until Top UN Children’s Body Reviews Ireland
A leading UN body has today announced that on 14 January 2016 it will put a spotlight on Ireland’s treatment of children at an examination in Geneva, Switzerland. The country’s record has not been reviewed for nearly ten years by the Children’s UN Committee so there will be much to consider. It is a timely opportunity for Ireland in its centenary year. Also published today is a response by the Irish Government to questions that the UN body sought clarity on some months ago.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Alliance, says: “The countdown is on and there are just 64 days left for the Irish Government to do more to strengthen children’s rights. Ireland has many reasons to be proud of what it has achieved for children in recent years, including the holding of a children’s referendum, the establishment of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, strengthening child protection laws and new investment in early years care and education. But there are also many areas where much more action is needed.
Top on our list of concerns is the one in eight children living in poverty and the 1,500 who are homeless. We are concerned about the child welfare risks associated with homelessness and a lack of family-friendly emergency accommodation.
Next on our list are children living in the direct provision system for asylum seekers. The recent report by the Government’s Expert Group made a number of important recommendations for children, addressing issues of child protection and welfare, and providing for independent inspections. The Government has an opportunity to make progress on these child-focused recommendations before the UN commences its examination.
In the area of mental health, 3,000 children are languishing on waiting lists for mental health services, and child victims of sexual abuse, face a year to two year waiting list for therapeutic supports.
Last month, the Children’s Rights Alliance launched its civil society report ‘Are We There Yet?’ prepared to help the UN review Ireland’s record on children. This report gives an honest, bird’s eye view of what life is like for children in Ireland, and outlines where their rights are not being protected. We hope Ireland’s examination by the UN on 14 January will help bring real change to the lives of children and young people in Ireland.”
NOTES TO EDITOR
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview.
• The Irish Government’s Response to the List of Issues from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child http://childrensrights.ie/resources/list-issues-relation-combined-third-and
• ‘Are We There Yet?’ civil society report is available on the Children’s Rights Alliance website http://www.childrensrights.ie/content/are-we-there-yet-report-un
• The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will examine Ireland’s progress on implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child during its 71st Session which runs from 11 January 2016 to 29 January 2016. Ireland’s examination takes place on 14 January as part of that session.
For further information, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications and Development Manager
Tel: 01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067
Children's Rights Alliance