Government failing to protect children’s rights, warn Irish clerics


The Irish government is failing to uphold its own agreements to protect children’s rights, Irish clerics have warned.

very concerned

In a joint submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Irish clerics said they were “very concerned” that the government was “failing” in a number of key areas.

The five areas identified were: human trafficking, domestic violence, children living in the direct provision system, the right to education and racism in schools.

The submission came in response to the government’s assessment of its own implementation of children’s rights, as part of a standard review of Irish practice by the UN.

“The government has a responsibility to find the resources to fulfill its obligations,” said Mr. John McGeady, legal officer for the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles. The Irish Catholic.

“As citizens, we are entitled to these rights and the government has a duty to uphold and enforce these rights.”

While acknowledging that some improvements have been made, Mr McGeady said “there is still a lot of work to be done”.

Agreements

The communication highlights the government’s failure to comply with international agreements, such as the number of places of refuge for victims of domestic violence.

It also shows that the Irish government is failing to address ‘growing evidence’ that members of ethnic minorities are suffering ‘significant distress’ due to racism in schools.

Religious orders are calling for anti-racism training for teachers and the introduction of a statewide cross-cultural education plan. The last intercultural education plan ended in 2015 and has not yet been replaced.

“The state’s failure to identify racism as a problem in schools and to propose solutions is of grave concern,” the report said.

The six religious orders and civil society groups that created the submission are: the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles; the Presentation Sisters; the Society of African Missionaries (SMA); Cork Migrant Centre; the Christian Brothers; and the Brothers of the Presentation.

The joint submission by religious orders and civil society groups was one of many submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Read Ruadhán Jones’ full article on the Irish government’s failure to protect children’s rights here.

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