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Sinn Féin MEP welcomes EU child protection measures

1 June, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed a European Parliament report designed to protect children from convicted child sex offenders across the EU.

Ms McDonald made her comments after the European Parliament voted in support of legislation requiring EU Member states to share information regarding convicted child abusers.


Speaking today Ms McDonald said:


“I want to welcome the backing given by the European Parliament to an initiative by the Belgian Government which obliges EU Member State where the convicted person is resident to recognise prohibitions handed down abroad and to enforce them on its territory.


“There is a clear need for stringent legislation to help safeguard the safety and well being of our children – this must be our major priority in all of this.


“At present a convicted offender who has been convicted for paedophile acts in one Member State - and is subject in that State to a prohibition on pursuing activities likely to bring that person into contact with children - may evade the prohibition by moving to another Member State. This has been a major concern for Sinn Féin. We have a situation in Ireland where convicted people can move from one jurisdiction to another and legally seek work with children.


“Sinn Féin has long called for the upward harmonization of child protection measures right throughout the island to prevent those intending to abuse children from exploiting loopholes and anomalies from gaining employment working with children. It is my hope that today’s calls by the European Parliament can go some way towards achieving this.” ENDS

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