Our work has had a real impact for children in Ireland. This includes:
The Children and Family Relationships Act represents the most important reform of child and family law for a generation. The legislation put children at the heart of family law, provide legal clarity around various family types and address discrimination faced by children in non-marital families.
Reform of Children’s Services – Child and Family Agency: Working with our members we ensured that the new Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has children’s rights at its heart, including a greater focus on family support and educational welfare.
National Policy Framework for Children and Young People: The Children’s Rights Alliance helped secure the inclusion of important new Government commitments on childhood obesity, food poverty, child poverty, and support for child victims.
A referendum to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution: We played a central role in securing a referendum and we finally ensured its successful passage so that children would be better respected and protected.
The establishment of Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children: We coordinated a group of children to select the first Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, dedicated to safeguarding children’s rights through independent investigation of public bodies. Children and their advocates now have a place to go when their rights are violated
Representing children at Social Partnership on the Community and Voluntary Pillar: As a dedicated Social Partner, we bring children’s issues to this unique form of engagement with Government Departments. It is an important structure as it allows us to bring these issues, most notably budgetary issues, to this high level.
Real action for child victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation: as the Irish partner of The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign, we helped secure 165,000 signatures in Ireland calling on the Government to implement the law and support child victims.
A new practice of placing separated refugee children in safer care settings: Separated refugee children were previously placed alone in unsafe hostel-type accommodation – many went missing and were never found. We worked with our members to advocate that these vulnerable children be placed with foster families, which the Government finally adopted as policy.
An end to the detention of boys in adult prisons: Children were being detained in St Patrick’s Institution, an adult prison, but following years of criticism by the Children’s Rights Alliance and others, this serious children’s rights violation has finally stopped. Vulnerable children are now better protected.
A legal prohibition on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ireland: Working with a coalition, we successfully campaigned for the introduction of a law to ban the practice of FGM in Ireland and to prevent girls being taken out of the country overseas to undergo FGM. Girls from FGM practicing traditions are now better protected.