Government One Year Late in Submitting Report on Children’s Rights to UN

Published date: 
26 Apr 2010

Monday 26 April 2010: For release on Tuesday 27 April

The Children’s Rights Alliance is today (27 April) calling on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews TD, to make a public statement and provide an explanation as to the reasons why the next State Report to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child, in relation to its progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), is one year late.  This periodic report, which was due to be published this time last year, on 27 April 2009, has yet to materialise. The Alliance, the umbrella body for over 90 non-governmental organisations working for the rights and needs of children in Ireland and the leading NGO voice from Ireland in the UN process, fears that this exposes a lack of commitment and will on the part of the State to the process and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) itself.

Mrs Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says: “We are deeply concerned at the delay in complying with Ireland’s international obligations in relation to the review and monitoring process of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  On both previous occasions, when Ireland has submitted a State Report to this UN Committee, the Alliance has led and co-ordinated the NGO consultation and Shadow Report.  Arguably, many of the great strides to vindicate the rights of children in Ireland in recent years have been made on the back of the UN Convention and its robust processes – certainly we feel, in the Alliance, that it has played a crucial role in ensuring the publication of a National Children's Strategy and the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman for Children.  This report must  be published immediately, and if this is not possible, Minister Andrews should make a statement explaining why it is not possible.”

The Irish government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on 30 September 1990 and ratified it on 28 September 1992.  By ratifying the UNCRC, the Irish State committed itself to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of children as outlined in the articles of the UNCRC.  The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a body of 18 internationally elected independent experts on children’s rights, monitors progress towards implementing these rights.  As a 'State Party' to the UNCRC, Ireland is required to submit periodic reports describing progress towards implementing the UNCRC in Ireland.  Submissions are also received from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and independent human rights bodies. The Alliance is responsible for the Shadow Report, and has previously issued two shadow reports since ratification: Small Voices: Vital Rights (1997); Our Voices, Our Realities: A Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2006).  Following a plenary hearing, the UN Committee issues its Concluding Observations and Recommendations.
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For further information, please contact:
Carys Thomas, Communications Director
Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087-7702845
Fax: (01) 662 9355
Email: carys@childrensrights.ie

Notes to Editor:
The formal examination of the First National Report of Ireland took place in Geneva on 12 and 13 January 1998. The formal examination of the Second National Report of Ireland took place in Geneva on 20 September 2006. After each examination, the UN Committee issues its Concluding Observations and Recommendations for Ireland, all of which can be found on the Alliance web site at www.childrensrights.ie 

Creator: 
Children's Rights Alliance