Sinn Féin - On Your Side

10-year Strategy must make a real and lasting difference to lives of children

20 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Young People, West Belfast MLA Sue Ramsey has welcomed the launch of the 10-year Children and Young People's Strategy and added that the eradication of child poverty is one of the most powerful ways to improve the opportunities and outcomes particularly for children from socially deprived backgrounds.

Ms Ramsey said:

"The framework of this 10-year Strategy for Children and Young People and particularly the cross cutting nature of the action plan is a welcome advance. However we need to ensure that full implementation and resources are prioritised and ring fenced. We must also ensure that in all decision making that the views of young people and children are heard and fully taken into account.

"We also want to see a detailed and timeframed Strategy for the Elimination of Child Poverty. The key to improving the chances and crucially the outcomes for our children and young people is tackling child poverty. We also want to see the cross departmental approach fully realised and priority given to the implementation of a Play Policy; to tackling educational under achievement; by introducing greater workplace flexibility and support for working parents.

"Sinn Fein are committed to ensuring that in the forthcoming Bill of Rights that in all matters affecting children that the best interests of the child are foremost, that there are overarching mechanisms for the promotion and protection of children's rights.

"As a member of the Assembly all-party working group on children that has met with the Minster on a number of occasions to ensure that the rights of children remain centre stage within the NIO and we will ensure that they remain centre stage within any future Executive. " ENDS

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