The Children’s Rights Alliance has launched its assessment of the Irish Government’s contribution to children’s rights over the past year.
What is the Children’s Rights Alliance?
The Children’s Rights Alliances works to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. It changes the lives of children in Ireland by making sure their rights are respected and upheld in laws, policies and services. They do this by:
- Identifying problems with children
- Develop solutions
- Educate and provide information on children’s rights.
What’s in the report?
The Alliance Report Card 2017 gave the government an overall D plus grade. This is stated as being a ‘barely acceptable performance’ with ‘little or no positive impact on children’. The most critical areas were Children and Family Homelessness, and the Right to Equality for Traveller and Roma children, both of which were given an E grade. This was followed closely by the Right to Mental Health and the Rights for Asylum Seekers Children, both given a D minus grade.
The alliance has stated that this is the poorest result in the last six years, but goes on further to take into account that the government has only been in place since May 2016.
The report acknowledges some positive changes, such as the allocation of the free preschool years for three and four year olds, as well as GP care available to all children under the age of six.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, stated that “this government, like its predecessors, has simply not done enough.” However, she said she is looking forward to the future, stating that the infrastructure is in place to make real, substantial changes in the rights for children in the coming years. Among these is the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, government agency Tusla, as well as national policy framework, Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures providing the roadmap for action.
Ward urged the government to take the tools it has at its disposal and use them to change the lives of the most marginalised. She concluded her statement by saying that Ireland can do much better for its children.