News from Ireland ISPCCJune 10, 2012
Children’s Rights Referendum
Over the last number of years the ISPCC has been advocating for constitutional change to enhance the protection afforded to children, and to further enshrine the rights of children within the Constitution. The Minister for Children & Youth Affairs has now stated this referendum will take place in the autumn and the ISPCC believes that the wording of the Referendum is key to encouraging voters to support an amendment. If this Referendum is passed, the ISPCC believes that the rights and protection of children in Ireland will be enhanced as it;
Provides for the inclusion of the best interests of the child, the right of the child to have their voice heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them and a provision for children to be proportionally protected by the State where parents fail in their responsibility towards the child, regardless of their marital status.
Missing Children’s Hotline
The ISPCC has been awarded a European Daphne grant to set up a Missing Children’s Hotline. In early 2012, the ISPCC was awarded the 116 000 hotline number by COMREG.
The Hotline will primarily provide advice and support to family members of a missing child and to the child themselves. It will also provide assistance and support to others involved with the missing child such as An Garda Siochana (Police) and the HSE (Health Service Executive) and the ISPCC is working closely with both organisations in order to progress the Hotline and ensure a collaborative approach to dealing with the overall issue. TheGarda Siochana (Irish police) have recently launched the Child Rescue Ireland Alert system (CRI Alert). The CRI Alert system will enable An Garda Síochána to seek the assistance of the public where a child has been abducted and there is a reasonable belief that there is an immediate and serious risk to the health or welfare of a child.