SCS on Children's Rights: The Final Report of the Committee on the Constitution and Youth/Child Voting

Earlier this week, the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution released its final report. Amongst the various proposals in relation to electoral reform made by the Committee was a recommendation that the voting age for Dáil elections should be lowered from 18 to 17 years-of-age.

In terms of Article 16 of the Constitution, voting for Dáil Éireann candidates is currently limited to those over 18, while the age of eligibility for membership of Dáil Éireann (in relation to which the Committee did not make any recommendations) is prescribed as 21.

In addition, the Committee recommended that a voter education programme should be introduced as part of the senior cycle programme in second-level schools, to promote awareness of the right to vote among newly eligible voters.

In its report, the Committee highlighted that areas in the electoral system where improvements are required include ‘the political engagement of young people’ (p.16) The proposed reduction in voting age was consistent with submissions made by a range of international and domestic experts on youth voting and issues of youth citizenship more broadly (see pages 79-83 and 123-126). These submissions highlighted the link between reduced voting ages and increased voter turnout, the lack of political accountability of elected representatives to children under 18, and the discrimination inherent to the current situation in which Irish people under 18 can leave school, work and pay taxes but have no right to a say in democratic decision-making. Continue reading “SCS on Children's Rights: The Final Report of the Committee on the Constitution and Youth/Child Voting”

SCS on Children's Rights: The Final Report of the Committee on the Constitution and Youth/Child Voting

SCS on Children's Rights: Lewsley on Child Protection

HRinI is delighted to present this post by Patricia Lewsley, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People as part of our SCS on Children’s Rights. Find out more about Patricia on our Guest Contributors page.

I am delighted to be taking part in this event on children’s rights in Ireland to share my thoughts on how we can best protect children and young people. As Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, it is my job to safeguard and promote the rights and best interests of children and young people in Northern Ireland, and to help them challenge and change the world they live in. It is my responsibility to monitor and scrutinise the extent to which government realises children’s rights in Northern Ireland. And it is my duty to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law, practice and services in meeting the needs of children and young people.

Continue reading “SCS on Children's Rights: Lewsley on Child Protection”

SCS on Children's Rights: Lewsley on Child Protection

SCS on Children's Rights: Van Turnhout on Care

HRinI is pleased to present this post by Jillian Van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance as part of our SCS on Children’s Rights. Please read more about Jillian on our Guest Contributors page.

It’s summer time; school is out and the sun is shining – on and off.  For most of Ireland’s one million children, the summer means having fun on holidays with their families.  However, for 5,700 children, holiday time may not be so straightforward.  They may spend it with their foster families or go on a trip with their residential home; it may be a time for access visits to their families; or it may be business as usual, trying to navigate the homeless hostel scene.  These are Ireland’s care children and, for them, life can be good but it can also be very bleak.  Continue reading “SCS on Children's Rights: Van Turnhout on Care”

SCS on Children's Rights: Van Turnhout on Care

SCS on Children's Rights: Emily Logan in Interview with Deirdre Duffy

Interview with Emily Logan

As part of the SCS on Children’s Rights, the Ombudsman for Children and Young People, Emily Logan, very kindly agreed to be interviewed by HRinI. Emily is at the forefront of debates on children’s rights and services in Ireland and has been a vocal propenent of a constitutional amendment relating to children’s rights.

SCS on Children's Rights: Emily Logan in Interview with Deirdre Duffy