Our Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 focuses on seven core priorities:

  • Priority 1 Fostering Children's Rights

    Children, young people and their parents/guardians/representatives need to be aware of children’s rights in order to be able to use them. At the same time, training and capacity building for those involved in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is critical to promote a culture that respects children’s rights.

  • Priority 2 Children's Rights in Laws, Policies and Practice

    There are several key policy opportunities over the lifetime of this Strategic Plan which will be important for delivering change on children and young people’s rights.

    • UN Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC)
    • Programme for Government and the Report Card
    • National polices for children and young people
    • Equality issues
    • Environment

    In order to respond to the changing context, the Alliance will need to dedicate resources to monitoring relevant national/international developments in relation to children’s rights. Over the life of the plan, the Alliance will focus on: Child poverty; Education; Online safety; Mental health and non-discrimination (including issues related to Travellers, Disability and Refugees and persons seeking protection. The Alliance also plans to address the issue of the environment and climate change/justice over the lifetime of this plan.

  • Priority 3 Building Children's Futures

    The European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme issued a call in 2021 for proposals that will contribute to responding to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, by promoting ways to mainstream and embed children’s rights in the responses to this and any other emergency situations and contribute to the implementation of the actions put forward by the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. The Children’s Rights Alliance working with the UNESCO Family Centre, Foróige, Tusla, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Eurochild have received funding under this call to run a two-pronged project over the life of the Strategic Plan which will:

    • Examine the effect of pandemic measures on activities and services for children and young people with groups that were disproportionately impacted. This will be implemented by bringing together a Youth Advisory Panel (supported by Foróige), running consultations and working with youth researchers (supported by the UNESCO Family Resource Centre).
    • Identify best practice in Covid-19 responses in Europe and exploring the role of Child Impact Assessments (CRIAs) and how a children’s rights approach can be embedded during times of emergency. We will develop a prototype CRIA and training support aimed at embedding children’s rights. This research and tools will be developed in Ireland and then disseminated by Eurochild.
  • Priority 4 Reducing Child Poverty and Social Exclusion

    Research has found that living in poverty, especially over a protracted period, has far-reaching consequences for children’s development and wellbeing. Currently one in five children in Ireland under the age of 18 in Ireland is living in poverty.

    Our Plan identifies key levers of change to address child poverty and social exclusion, including:

    • Successor to National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures)
    • Budgets: The Government’s annual budgets for 2023, 2024 and 2025 are critical opportunities to shield children and families from regressive budgetary decisions
    • White Paper on Ending Direct Provision
    • End Child Poverty multi-year campaign
    • Representation on Eurochild (an EU NGO) Taskforce on the EU Child Guarantee
    • Representation on Community and Voluntary Pillar
  • Priority 5 Educational Reform

    Children and young people have been consistently critical of the education system over the years. The education system also struggles to respond to the diverse needs of children and young people and in many circumstances adopts a one-size fits all approach. There have been persistent reports of some children experiencing difficulties finding school places due to their religion/non-religious status or on account of their disability.

    Over the course of this Plan, the Alliance will focus on priority areas of reform including:

    • Alternative Education
    • Reduced Hours Guidelines
    • Citizens Assembly on the Future of Education (CAFE)
  • Priority 6 National Movement for Children and Young People

    Children’s Rights Alliance members knowledge and expertise is critical to assisting the Alliance identify the gaps in polices and supports for children. The Alliance aims to work together with members to, not only achieve our strategic aims, but to also strengthen our members own capacity to advocate for children and young people.

  • Priority 7 People, Systems and Structures

    Ensuring we have the right people, systems and structures in place is of critical importance and ensures the Alliance is strategic, protects its independence, complies with relevant governance standards and is legally compliant.   We also work to ensure the team is supported, developed and effective, its performance is managed and linked to organisational objectives and its leadership outward looking and strategic.