I am firmly committed to the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To date, ratification has been pending to ensure that all of the necessary arrangements are in place to comply with the obligations of the Optional Protocol. The recent enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 constitute key steps on the pathway to the ratification of the Optional Protocol and fulfil a number of its requirements.
My Department has recently completed a substantive review of Ireland’s compliance with the Optional Protocol’s provisions, which has been submitted to the Office of the Attorney General for its advice. Once approved, I will seek Government approval to ratify the Optional Protocol at the earliest opportunity.