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International Framework

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) must operate in a global context and framework, provided primarily through its membership of the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

International human rights norms ratified by Ireland, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Hague Convention on Adoption, provide a framework for domestic policy and practice relating to children’s rights.  For example, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child spells out the basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled, including 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.

In order to meet our external obligations a priority activity between 2012 and 2014 is to ensure that arrangements are in place to support the DCYA to meet its external obligations in relation to children and youth.  A number of these obligations have been met and some are ongoing.

1. Ireland’s consolidated 3rd and 4th  Report  was submitted to the to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in August 2013 . 

2. The Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child will come into effect on 24th December 2014. (Information Note)

3. The Department seeks to ensure other international commitments are met, including on adoption;

4. Active participation in International fora/networks relating to children.

5. Active role in the development of EU youth policy, including participation in Council of Europe/EU Youth Working Group Party meetings, and participation in ‘Youth in Action Programme 2007-2013’ . Issues in relation to children and young people were successfully advanced during  Ireland’s Presidency of the EU in January to June 2013;

6. Promotion of North/South cooperation in the area of child and family services and Youth Justice Services through -
• completion of existing work programme
• identification of new areas of cooperation

Links to relevant EU and International websites:

DCYA – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - Information Page


UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

European Commission Website for Children’s Rights

EU Forum on the Rights of the Child

ChildOne Europe

Council of Europe

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