We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Edel Quinn. Edel is a member of the Legal and Policy team at the Children’s Rights Alliance. The Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations working to secure the rights 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.
The referendum on a constitutional amendment on children’s rights is just around the corner. Holding the referendum on Saturday 10 November 2012 is a welcome development and will allow young people in particular the opportunity to travel home to vote and ensure that children do not miss out on a day of school. With the wording of the proposed amendment and accompanying adoption legislation expected to be published later today, in this post we explore the key issues at the heart of the debate and the potential impact of change. One of the founding objectives of the Children’s Rights Alliance when it was established 17 years ago was to seek an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland to strengthen the rights of children. The Alliance has engaged in extensive advocacy on this issue in particular over the last six years since the publication of its second shadow report on Ireland to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2006.