Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin establish Ard Chomhairle sub committee to campaign for a yes vote on the constitutional referendum on children's rights

25 February, 2007

Sinn Féin this afternoon announced that it is setting up an Ard Chomhairle sub committee to run the party's campaign for a yes vote on the constitutional referendum on children's rights. The group will be headed by Joanne Spain, from the party's children's policy committee and candidate for Dublin Mid West and will include Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Sue Ramsey MLA and Waterford Councillor David Cullinane. The group will hold its inaugural meeting in Leinster House tomorrow, Monday 26th.

Speaking prior to the meeting Joanne Spain said:

"Sinn Féin believes that the bulk of the proposals put forward by the government represent progress in terms of childrens rights and on that basis we will campaign for a yes vote and will be encouraging all parties to facilitate the holding of the referendum no later than the general election date this summer.

"Contrary to some media reports that the opposition want the referendum to be confined to the protection of children from sexual predators, Sinn Féin welcomes the proposals to include children's rights, custody, care, guardianship and adoption. In fact we would like to see it go further.

"At our meeting tomorrow we will be discussing amendments which Sinn Féin intends to put forward in an effort to ensure full human rights compliance and the best possible outcome for children. We will specifically be seeking a provision ensuring that the best interests of children will be paramount in all actions concerning them.

"The Government's proposal does fall short of a Sinn Féin proposal in 2005 for a new article to be inserted into the Constitution expressly detailing children's rights and based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However Sinn Féin will support this referendum on the basis of progress for children albeit limited."ENDS

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