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Children's Rights

Ireland 'must ratify' protocols to UN convention on child protection

The Children’s Rights Alliance says Ireland has only signed up to one of three optional protocols to the UN convention.

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has been urged to waste no time in ratifying the last remaining optional protocols to the UN’s global convention on the rights of the child.

The Children’s Rights Alliance says Ireland has only ratified one of the three optional protocols, meaning it lags behind other countries in ensuring a globally recognised standard of children’s rights.

Ireland ratified the convention itself in 1990, which led to the setting up of the office of the Children’s Ombudsman and ultimately the introduction of a constitutional amendment enshrining the rights of the child.

However, while Ireland has ratified one optional protocol on the involvement of children in military conflicts, separate protocols on child prostitution and child pornography, and on the communication of complaints directly to the UN, have not yet been ratified by Ireland.

Ireland is one of only two EU member states yet to ratify the protocol on child pornography, though it did sign that protocol in 2000. It has yet to sign the third protocol, the first step on the road to ratifying it and translating its provisions into Irish law.

“We are trailing behind our international peers and we want to see this change as a matter of priority,” Maria Corbett, the acting chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said today at the body’s annual general meeting.

Read: Children’s Minister ‘constantly amazed’ at lack of basic services

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