Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Gildernew attends event to support promotion of children's rights

20 August, 2003

Speaking after an event held in Belfast's Linenhall Library today in support of Children's rights Sinn Féins MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone, Michelle Gildernew said:

"It is crucial that events such as this contribute in raising public awareness about the key issue of children's rights. I congratulate the organisers of this event. Society must be compelled to recognise that the child's best interests are paramount.

"The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child contains only the minimum rights protections, this makes it important that for any Bill of Rights to incorporate the UN Convention it must also include separately formulated rights that raise the bar for the level of protection. This is particularly necessary in a society that has experienced a conflict, which affected so many children.

"The litmus test of any Bill of Rights that deals with Children and Young people's rights will be whether those rights will be given affect by accessible enforcement mechanisms that can make a real difference in the lives of our children and young people.

"As the organisers of today's event have already indicated, a Bill of Rights alone cannot ensure the right of children to play a constructive role in society. The state must also commit itself and its resources to ensuring that children and young people can secure their rights within a stable and peaceful political environment." ENDS

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