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Sinn Féin welcome announcement on Children's Minister

10 August, 2005


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Young People, West Belfast MLA Sue
Ramsey has today welcomed Peter Hain's announcement that he has appointed
a Minster with responsibility for Children and Young People.

Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:

"Sinn Féin argued that there should be a Minster with specific
responsibility for Children and Young People in the negotiations that led
up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Unfortunately this
suggestion found no support with any of the other political parties,
including the SDLP.

"Sinn Féin has continued to argue that there is a need for a Minster with
responsibility for Children and Young People. Today's announcement that
Jeff Rooker has taken on this role is a welcome development.

"This announcement vindicates Sinn Féin's demand and is a both belated and
welcome development. However if this portfolio is to have any relevance to
the lives of children and young people in the Six Counties, then it is
vital that this new ministerial responsibility includes adequate powers
and resources to ensure that the rights of children and young people are
protected and promoted and that adequate policy commitments are put in
place particularly in relation to an all-Ireland Sex offenders register,
adequate resources for the education system and the scandal of childhood
poverty." ENDS

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