Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (157)

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

237 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the initiatives he proposes to take either at Government or European Union level to advance the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. [6857/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The Government attaches great importance to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is central to the protection and promotion of children's rights on a global level. Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 30 September 1990 and ratified it on 28 September 1992.

As the Deputy is aware, where Ireland wishes to adhere to an international agreement such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child we must ensure that our domestic law is in conformity with the agreement in question. Responsibility for the implementation at a national level of the Convention on the Rights of the Child rests with the Minister for Health and Children. In accordance with Article 44 of the convention, Ireland is required to submit regular reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on how the rights contained in the convention are being implemented. Ireland submitted its first national report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in April 1996. That report was considered by the committee in Geneva in January 1998. The national children's office is in the process of co-ordinating Ireland's second report under the convention.

Ireland, with its EU partners, is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of children on an international level. The EU is one of the principal sponsors of a resolution on the rights of the child at the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Government places great importance on the implementation of international human rights standards aimed at the protection of the rights of children and is determined to see through all its commitments in respect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child both at a national and international level.