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Child Protection

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 10 March 2021

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Questions (634)

Claire Kerrane


634. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his attention has been drawn to the 2016 Concluding Observations Report for Ireland from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; the steps that have been taken to implement these recommendations to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12593/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I would like to highlight that I consider the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be a central point of reference for the work of my Department. As we have just embarked upon a new reporting cycle, I am cognisant of the importance of examining the implementation of the UN Convention with due consideration of the last Concluding Observations.

The State is obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee) on measures to give effect to the rights under the UN Convention. Ireland’s last appearance before the Committee took place in Geneva, on 14 January 2016. Following this meeting, the Committee published its observations on Ireland’s progress and recommendations regarding further actions to be taken by the State. These take the form of the “Concluding Observations” referred to in your question.

The Concluding Observations were shared with all relevant Departments in 2016. Furthermore, my Department organised Ireland's first Child Summit that year, where the Concluding Observations were discussed with experts, government officials and civil society stakeholders. I would also like to highlight that Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures - The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 played an important role in progressing the Committee's recommendations.

Under the old reporting system, the State’s response to the Concluding Observations was incorporated in its next periodic report and was followed by a reply to the list of issues developed by the Committee. However, the State decided to opt-in to the Simplified Reporting Procedure, which is promoted by the UN. Under the new system the State does not prepare an initial state report but its response to the list of issues constitutes the State's party report. The report needs to take into consideration of the Committee's recommendations put forward in 2016. The State received the list of issues in November 2020 and will have to submit its reply by October 2021. My department has already commenced engagement with other Departments and will also consult with civil society in relation to the State report.

I would like to reassure the Deputy that during the preparation of the State report consideration will be given to the last Concluding Observations.