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Progress on ‘soft information’ law welcome – Ó Caoláin

26 May, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has welcomed the announcement that the Cabinet has agreed heads of a Bill to address the current lack of regulated access to ‘soft information’ on potential abusers of children. In answer to a question from Deputy Ó Caoláin at Dáil Order of Business today Minister Brendan Howlin said that the heads of a Bill have now been agreed by Cabinet.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The report of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Geoffrey Shannon, published yesterday, exposes the alarming inadequacy of laws, procedures and resources to protect children from abuse. The lack of regulated access to ‘soft information’ on potential abusers of children is one of the main issues that needs to be addressed.

“The Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children, of which I was a member in the last Dáil, recommended in September 2008 that legislation to regulate ‘soft information’ be introduced. This is now long overdue.

“Minister Howlin’s confirmation that the Cabinet has agreed the heads of the Bill is welcome. The legislation must be a priority for the new Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and for the Department of Children when it is established in legislation in the coming weeks.”


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