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Ó Snodaigh welcomes publication of Committee on Child Protection's Report

30 November, 2006


Sinn Féin's Law Reform spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the publication of the Joint Oireachtas Committee's report on child protection. Noting that a number of the proposals on the document reflect the arguments contains in Sinn Féin's submission to the Committee he said he was particularly happy at the recommendation of introducing obligations on employers to vet prospective employees and to report relevant dismissals.

The Dublin South Central TD said: "I welcome today's report. Sinn Féin made a submission to the Committee last August and I am happy to see that some of our recommendations are reflected. In particular the report recommends an obligation on employers of people working with children to report relevant dismissals, and to vet potential employees against a register. That would bring this state closer in line with the situation in the Six Counties following the Ian Huntley Inquiry.

"I am also very happy with the recommendations for public awareness programmes and education around all aspects of child sexual abuse, including the age of consent, because I feel there is real confusion out there amongst many people that must be addressed.

"Sinn Féin, and many others, highlighted the need for the law to be gender neutral and this recommendation has been followed through by the Committee. I am disappointed however that the report fails to address the unacceptable criminalisation of young people engaged in fully consensual sexual activity. I am worried that the fear of prosecution will prevent young people from actively maintaining their own sexual health by seeking the services of health professionals. It may also impact negatively on rates of unwanted pregnancy."

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