A number of Nationwide Consultations took place in Ireland this week (Dublin, Carlow, Galway and Cork - Limerick's to follow) to support the development of the Children's Rights Alliance UNCRC parallel report.
'The UN Convention for the Rights of the Child UNCRC is an International agreement that establishes legal standards to help States make better decisions and achieve successful outcomes for children. On ratifying the convention, Governments agree to be assessed periodically by the UN committee on the Rights of the Child on their progress in implementing the rights in the convention. A review of Ireland has taken place on two occasions 1998 and 2006 and the next review is scheduled for 2016. The review will be based on the State's report which will be submitted to the committee in September 2016 - it details progress on implementing the Convention since 2006.' Children's Rights Alliance
The Committee also accepts reports - known as Parallel reports - from civil society groups. The Children's Rights Alliance will submit an independent report on behalf of it's membership and civil society together with a report created by children and young people.
I attended the Galway consultation at NUIG on Monday which was informative and thought provoking. We were encouraged to look at the 41 different rights of the Child and form an opinion based on the area we work in.
The Voice of the Child (Article 12)
Requires that a child who is capable of forming their own views, has the right to be heard, with due weight being given to their opinion in accordance with their age and maturity. This includes the right of the child to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child.
UN Committee's 2006 Recommendation to Ireland
Strengthen it's efforts to ensure, including through Constitutional provisions, that children have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them and to have those views given due weight in particular in families, schools and other educational institutions, the health sector and in communities.
Ensure that children be provided with the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them and that due weight be given to those views in accordance with the age and maturity of the child, including the us of independent representations (guardian ad litem) provided for under the Child Care Act 1991, in particular in cases where children are separated from their parents.
Take into account the recommendations adopted on the Committee's day of general discussion on the right of the child to be heard in September 2006.
I'm particularly interested in the area highlighted red. We're being encouraged to make a written submission by 19th December 2014. More later..