Sinn Féin will endeavour to introduce key additions to referendum wording - McDonald
Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has called on all political parties to facilitate the holding of the referendum on children's rights no later than the general election polling day. Ms. McDonald said Sinn Féin recognises that the bulk of the Government's proposals amount to progress for children and for that reason Sinn Féin will support their introduction.
Ms. McDonald said: "We recognise that the bulk of the Government's proposals amount to progress for children, all be it limited, and for this reason we would support their introduction. And I would encourage all parties to facilitate the holding of a referendum not later than the General election polling day. The protection of children should no longer be left on the long finger.
"In 2005 Sinn Féin proposed that a new article be inserted into the Constitution expressly detailing children's rights and based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Unfortunately, the Government's proposal falls short of the wording proposed by Sinn Féin. However, we will endeavour to introduce some key additions to the wording during its passage through the Dáil including a provision ensuring that the best interests of children will be paramount in all actions concerning them. Furthermore, in government we would put further reaching changes to the people in order to achieve a real new beginning for children.
"Sinn Féin representatives have been in consultation with many of the relevant NGOs including the Children's Rights Alliance, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. And we will continue this consultation as the wording passes through the various Dáil stages in an effort to ensure full human rights compliance and the best possible outcome for children."