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Posts Tagged ‘ryan report’

Carr on the Constitutional Amendment and Children in Care

February 26, 2010 7 comments

You can learn more about Nicola Carr on our guest contributors page.

The case for an amendment to the Irish Constitution to specifically enumerate the rights of children has been well set out by a range of commentators over a period of time. The issues pertaining to children in care or those on the ‘edges of care’ (that is those children who may be eligible for placement in care on the grounds of protection or welfare), have been a touchstone in these debates.

It has been argued that the balance between the ‘inalienable and imprescritible rights’ of the family, as set out in Article 41.1, and the power of the State to intervene in ‘exceptional circumstances’ where the parents in the said family have been deemed to have ‘failed’ in their duty as set out in Article 42.5, has been too strongly skewed towards the rights of the (marital) family. It has also been criticised for setting the threshold for State intervention too high. In the Report of the Kilkenny Incest Inquiry (1993) Justice Catherine McGuinness identified that the status of the martial family within the Irish Constitution was one of the barriers to State intervention in cases such as that described in the Inquiry Report – where a range of services had failed to successfully intervene in a case of longstanding abuse. Justice McGuinness therefore recommended that consideration be given to strengthening the rights of children by way of a Constitutional amendment. Read more…

Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card 2010

January 26, 2010 1 comment

On Monday, the Children’s Rights Alliance launched its annual ‘report card‘. The report card examines whether the Government has honoured the promises it has made to children living in Ireland. These commitments are found in Social Partnership Agreement, Towards 2016; the Programme for Government 2007-2012 and the Renewed Programme for Government, 2009; the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016, and the Ryan Report Implementation Plan, 2009. The executive summary of the report is here and the full report is here. The Alliance awarded the government a ‘D-‘ grade overall.

The Alliance says:

In Ireland, we believe that we value children, but the startling evidence shows otherwise. Of the 29 commitments, 7 have made progress or shown improvement, 9 have remained static or cannot yet be monitored, and a further 13 are lagging seriously behind. In times of crisis and emergency, it is only natural that we would expect children to come first, but the evidence shows the opposite is true, on some issues the Government is putting its head in the sand.

In a similar vein, this article in yesterday’s Irish Times partly attributed the rise in the number of children taken into care last year to the economic downturn.