PRESS STATEMENT: Alliance Response to Taoiseach’s Comments on Children’s Rights Referendum

Published date: 
13 Oct 2010

Thursday  14 October  2010


Taoiseach’s Comments on Children’s Rights Referendum


An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, TD, yesterday answered questions in the Dáil regarding the children’s rights constitutional amendment. The Children’s Rights Alliance is deeply disappointed at the lack of progress on this pressing issue.

The Alliance commends the work done by the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children. It was a historic achievement to reach all party political consensus on the wording for a proposed amendment.  The principles underlying the Committee’s wording must remain at the core of any new wording. Nothing less is acceptable.  The Alliance respects the process which is currently under way – a governmental ‘due diligence’ of the Committee’s wording.  We also acknowledge that clarity on the impact of the wording will be necessary to ensure its successful passage in a referendum. 

The Alliance calls on the Government, to immediately reconvene the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children, to share with it the concerns raised by the Senior Officials Group and the Attorney General.  We must work together to achieve all party agreement on a wording that can be put before the People without further delay.   At the most fundamental level, we want each and every child to have a decent childhood; the Constitution should enable this to happen – it should not be a barrier.

The country is ready for a children’s rights referendum.  Leadership is now required.  We, and the 1 million children in Ireland, expect the Government to deliver.  It’s now over 18 years since Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; we need to make those commitments a reality.   

Jillian Van Turnhout,
Chief Executive
Children's Rights Alliance



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Notes to Editor:          
The Children’s Rights Alliance is a coalition of over 90 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to secure the rights and needs of children in Ireland, by campaigning for the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It aims to improve the lives of all children under 18, through securing the necessary changes in Ireland’s laws, policies and services