Next report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Minister Fitzgerald intends to finalise and bring to Government shortly a substantial progress report on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, combining the 3rd and 4th reports, to cover the period 2006 to 2011 inclusive, in advance of submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
An Inter-Departmental Liaison Group was established to prepare the report and a draft of the report was completed in December 2012. The Children’s Rights Alliance has submitted its observations on the draft to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. These observations are currently being considered.
The report will outline the most significant developments for children and how Ireland has been implementing the main aims of the UN Convention during the period 2006 to 2011 inclusive.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Children deserve to be highly valued for the unique contribution they make through just being children. Respect for children as a global ideal has been affirmed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 and it entered into force – or became legally binding on States Parties – in September 1990. Ireland ratified the Convention in 1992.
The Convention spells out the basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled. These are the right to survival; the right to the development of their full physical and mental potential; the right to protection from influences that are harmful to their development; and the right to participation in family, cultural and social life. The Convention protects these rights by setting minimum standards that governments must meet in providing healthcare, education and legal and social services to children in their countries.
The Convention defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood as younger than 18.
The guiding principles of the Convention are:
- all children should be entitled to basic rights without discrimination;
- the best interests of the child should be the primary concern of decision-making;
- children have the right to life, survival and development;
- the views of children must be taken into account in matters affecting them.
The implementation of the National Children's Strategy is a major initiative to progress the implementation of the Convention in Ireland.
In 2005, Ireland submitted its Second Report to the UN Committee on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rghts of the Child.
- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Child-friendly leaflet on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Ireland's First Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (1996)
- Ireland's Second Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2005)
- Concluding Observations by UNCRC on Ireland's Second Report