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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Paramilitary gun attacks on children 'must end'

Twelve children were shot in Northern Ireland between 2009 and 2014.

Updated at 6pm

TWELVE CHILDREN WERE shot between 2009 and 2014, according to Northern Ireland’s Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

Another 27 children were assaulted in that period, the NIHRC said.

The commission has submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urging the British government to take immediate action to stop paramilitary assaults on children in Northern Ireland.

NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby said the commission has highlighted a number of recommendations made by the UN in 2008 that have not yet been implemented.

He said they now require urgent action.

These include raising the age of criminal responsibility, ending corporal punishment and reducing the use of remand for children in the criminal justice system.

Allamby said it is important that the children of Northern Ireland are adequately protected.

The commission has advised that the UN Committee should ask the UK Government, including the Northern Ireland Executive, to:

  • Take immediate action to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to at least 12 years of age.
  • Condemn the ongoing attacks by paramilitary organisations and ask the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to take immediate and effective action to address the issue of paramilitary attacks against children.
  • Ban smacking of children without delay.
  • End Academic Selection: The UN Committee called for academic selection to be abolished in 2008 and despite the end of the 11 plus, the current system of testing has allowed a ‘two-tier culture’ to remain.

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