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Children's Rights referendum must be full and comprehensive - Ó Caoláin

13 February, 2008


Sinn Féin Children's Rights Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has again warned of the dangers of decoupling the sexual abuse aspects of the referendum from the broader protections and rights that are so badly needed by children.

Following a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children this evening, at which Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan was present Deputy Ó Caoláin, "I very much welcome the valuable input of the Children's Ombudsman to the work of the Committee and to the broader public debate.

"We in Sinn Féin share the concern of the Children's Ombudsman at the apparent movement to have split referenda and to separate the protection of children from sexual abuse and the wider children's rights aspects. We have consistently opposed such an approach.

"There have been suggestions of an all-party consensus on such a decoupling. I have not been a party to that.

"Sinn Féin has consistently argued that the proposal to split children's rights and protections into two referenda would mean that only sexual abuse would be dealt with now and all other protections that are so badly needed by children would be put on the long finger and possibly indefinitely.

"Our position is shared by the Children's Rights Alliance who attended the public session of last week's committee meeting and is clearly also the view of the Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan who was present at this evening's meeting." ENDS

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