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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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intentional injury

Irish children are dying from neglect and abuse

That’s according to a new report from the European Child Safety Alliance.

IRISH CHILDREN AND teenagers have a high death rate from abuse, neglect, violence and suicide.

A new report shows Ireland has the second highest rate in Europe for these type of deaths, classified as intentional injury. Lithuania has the highest rate.

The report, ‘A National Action to Address Child Intentional Injury‘ was carried out by the European Child Safety Alliance.

Bernard de Vos, Chair of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children said,

“More families are experiencing greater financial pressure as a result of the economic crisis, which for many has moved them below the poverty line. As a result, this increases the risk of all forms of violence, particularly child maltreatment/neglect/abuse and suicide.

Early signs indicate that the austerity measures in place are having an impact on children’s health and safety.

Intentional Injury

The European Child Safety Alliance say that, “Of the 35,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 who die each year in the EU, approximately 24 per cent or roughly 9,100 deaths are due to injuries.

“About a third of these deaths are classified as intentional or of undetermined intent.

“Intentional injury deaths are but the tip of the iceberg and even here, where the best data exist, evidence suggests that maltreatment deaths coded as child homicide may reflect as little as 20-33 per cent of actual cases.”

Vice-President of the European Parliament, Isabelle Durant said,

Violence against children must continue to receive critical attention, and we must strongly reiterate this, rather than cloaking the issue in silence.

“In addition to applying what we already know, we need more research and improved data systems, particularly for all types of non-fatal intentional injuries to children that includes information on the cost of violence against children and its prevention.”


(Child Intentional Injury in the EU/European Child Safety Alliance)

The report also found that the rate of suicide among young women in Ireland is the highest in Europe. However, that figure is still less than a third compared to men.

Ireland has the second highest rate of suicide in young men.


The report stated that “Leadership is needed to bring together the relevant sectors, determining who will be responsible for the prevention of specific intentional injury issues and coordinating the actions and resources needed”.

It found that the Irish government has given leadership in violence prevention and intentional injury prevention.

However it also found that a national strategy for peer violence prevention and for suicide and self-directed injury prevention are needed.

Read: Ireland’s suicide rate is below EU average – OECD report>

Read: Drug and alcohol abuse leading to care proceedings for children>

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