Educate Together is today calling for a ‘YES’ vote in the Children’s Referendum on November 10th.
Educate Together fundamentally supports the referendum’s aim to ensure children’s rights are recognised and protected in the Irish Constitution.
Paul Rowe, Educate Together CEO, says:
Educate Together strongly believes that now is the time for children’s rights to be formally enshrined in the Irish constitution. A positive outcome for the referendum would strengthen Irish children’s legal standing, and would send a powerful message to the world that our children are valued.
Educate Together has long been an advocate of children’s rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is specifically referenced in the the organisation’s Charter and the ‘Learn Together’ ethical curriculum taught in Educate Together schools. The referendum, if passed, will enshrine key principles from the Convention into the Irish constitution.
The Children’s Rigths Alliance, of which Educate Together is a member, states that the referendum, if passed, would strengthen children’s rights in a number of ways:
- Legal: It would have a real and measureable difference on court decisions and on the type of legislation that can be drafted. Currently, we cannot guarantee that the best interests of a child will be upheld, particularly in certain court proceedings.
- Children in Care: These children include those in long term foster care, who are unable to be adopted and given a second chance of a stable family life. This would affect up to 2,000 children.
- Culture shift: The recognition of children as full citizen rights holders in their own right would be a very significant step towards shifting historic attitudes to children’s position in society.
- External perceptions: It is a powerful sign to the outside world that we value our children. At an international level, there is an expectation that when the Irish State is next examined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that we will have made progress in the Committee’s key recommendation that Ireland recognises children’s rights in its Constitution.