Article 42 of the Constitution is proposed to be amended as follows—
(a)    existing sections 1 and 5 to be deleted,
(b)    new sections 1 – 6 set out below to be inserted, and
(c)    existing sections 2 – 4 to be rearranged and numbered as sections 7 – 8.

Children

Article 42

1.       1°    The State shall cherish all the children of the State equally.

2°    The State recognises and acknowledges the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children including their right to have their welfare regarded as a primary consideration and shall, as far as practicable, protect and vindicate those rights.

3°      In the resolution of all disputes concerning the guardianship, adoption, custody, care or upbringing of a child, the welfare and best interests of the child shall be the first and paramount consideration.

2.    The State guarantees in its laws to recognise and vindicate the rights of all children as individuals including:
i    the right of the child to such protection and care as is necessary for his or her safety and welfare;

ii     the right of the child to an education;

iii    the right of the child’s voice to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, having regard to the child’s age and maturity.

3.    The State acknowledges that the primary and natural carers, educators and protectors of the welfare of a child are the child’s parents and guarantees to respect the right and responsibility of parents to provide according to their means for the physical, emotional, intellectual, religious, moral and social education and welfare of their children.


4.    Where the parents of any child fail in their responsibility towards such child, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means, as shall be regulated by law, endeavour to supply or supplement the place of the parents, regardless of their marital status. 


5.    Provision may be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their responsibility towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

6.    Provision may be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child and any such law shall respect the child’s right to continuity in its care and upbringing.


7.       1°    The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preference to send their children to schools established by the State, or to any particular type of school designated by the State.
2°    The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social.
3°    Parents shall be free to provide education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognised or established by the State.

8.    The State shall provide for free primary education and shall endeavour to supplement and give reasonable aid to private and corporate educational initiative, and, when the public good requires it, provide other educational facilities or institutions with due regard, however, for the rights of parents, especially in the matter of religious and moral formation.