OPPOSITION PARTIES ARE due to be briefed this morning on the wording of the proposed amendment to Constitution intended to strengthen the rights of the child.
The Government is hoping that the wording, which is due to be published at 11.30am today, will enjoy the support of all political parties.
The referendum will take place on 10 November – making it the second referendum ever to place on a Saturday.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland programme this morning, Director of Elections for Fianna Fáil Barry Andrews said the party wanted to give the Government support on the wording, but that it would first have to read the proposal “in black-and-white”.
Andrews said he would be looking for several things in the Government’s proposed wording:
- That all children – from both marital and non-martial backgrounds – are treated the same under the Constitution
- That the voice of children is recognised under the Constitution
- That all children are treated same in relation to adoption
He said that while the Constitution does currently contain some provisions for children these were “implicit”, and added that the rights of the child must be clearly defined without diluting the autonomy of parents.
Andrews said there was a danger of overstating the importance of Constitutional reform – pointing out that it was just one element to ensuring children are treated with dignity and respect.