Margaret Burns - Vote YES - BLOG

As a founder member of the Children's Rights Alliance in 1995, I have strongly supported the Alliance's repeated calls for greater Constitutional protection for the rights of children. I therefore welcome the fact that we are now about to have a referendum on the issue.

The proposed wording provides, in the first instance, an explicit overarching statement that the State 'recognises and affirms' the rights of all children. That in itself is very important.

While the amendment will not incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into the Constitution, it does reflect some of the Convention's key principles. Particularly welcome is the inclusion of a provision that the 'voice of the child' will be heard in proceedings regarding adoption, guardianship, custody and access, and in child welfare proceedings brought by the State.

Pope John Paul II called the UN Convention a "laudable instrument aimed at protecting the rights and interests of children, who are that precious treasure given to each generation as a challenge to its wisdom and humanity".

Through the forthcoming referendum, this generation of adults in Ireland has an opportunity to amend our Constitution in a way that can inspire Irish society as a whole to more actively protect and promote the rights and welfare of children and families. That is why I will be voting 'YES' to the amendment on Saturday, 10 November 2012.

Margaret Burns is Vice Chairperson of the Children's Rights Alliance who are supporting a YES vote on November 10th

Paul Gilligan - Vote YES - BLOG
VIDEO - Geoffrey Shannon - Vote YES
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