Sunday 28 February 2010: For immediate releaseIrish teenagers want the right to freely express themselves and a safe environment in which to congregate, according to a podcast issued today as part of the Children’s Rights Podcast Series, by the Children’s Rights Alliance. Recorded last November, during a joint event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Government Buildings, the Alliance’s Chief Executive Jillian van Turnhout, UNICEF’s Executive Director Melanie Verwoerd and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews TD, were told, in no uncertain terms, that children’s rights are extremely important to children and that there is strong opposition to government cuts in education, and the failure of Gardai to respect young people’s right to congregate.
Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Alliance, on publication of the podcast says: “The podcast is very interesting, in that it reminds us all, particularly those of us who work with children, that children’s rights matter to children. You sometimes forget this, when you spend most of your working week with adults. These children were great at getting to the crux of the issue – there’s no beating around the bush with these guys, which is brilliant. And it’s good to know that, as an Alliance of over 90 NGOs working for the rights and needs of all children living in Ireland, we are on the right track.
“Now that the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children has published its Third and Final Report and recommends strengthening children’s rights in the Constitution, I feel there is hope that the rights that matter most to children – like being listened to – will be vindicated. The time is ripe for a referendum to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution. And at the end of the day, our children deserve to live in one of the best places in the world to be a child. The children interviewed really make me take a fresh look at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is no mean feat, and so I really enjoyed this podcast. I urge anyone with an interest in children’s rights to take a listen.”
The podcast is available to download from the Alliance web site at: www.childrensrights.ie
1. The Children’s Rights Podcast Series is available at http://www.childrensrights.ie/whats-new/podcasts
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