Action urged over paramilitary assaults on children in the North

The Human Rights Commission has called on the UK Government to take immediate action to stop paramilitary assaults on children in the North.

Twelve youngsters were shot between 2009 and last year, while another 27 were assaulted, the organisation said.

It submitted a report to an influential UN committee investigating children’s rights.

Action urged over paramilitary assaults on children in the North

The report said: “The committee may wish to condemn the ongoing attacks carried out by paramilitary organisations and ask the state party to take immediate and effective action to address the issue of paramilitary style attacks on children in Northern Ireland through measures relating to both transitional justice and child protection.”

Figures for the number of attacks may be under-reported since fear of paramilitary violence and self-reported experiences of attacks on children are much higher, the Commission said.

It has contacted the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Research published late last year from Queen’s University Belfast said more than 500 children were shot or beaten by loyalist and republican paramilitaries over the past two decades.

The Commission highlighted 2008 UN recommendations that have not yet been implemented and required urgent action.

These include raising the age of criminal responsibility, ending corporal punishment and reducing the use of remand for children in the criminal justice system.

The Commission advises the UN Committee should ask the UK Government, including the North’s Executive, to:

* Take immediate action to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to at least 12 years of age.

* Ban smacking of children without delay.

* End academic selection; the UN committee called for testing to be abolished in 2008 and despite the end of the 11+, the current system of testing has allowed a “two-tier culture” to remain, according to the Commission.

More in this Section

Paschal Donohoe 'honoured' to be elected as President of Eurogroup of Finance MinistersPaschal Donohoe 'honoured' to be elected as President of Eurogroup of Finance Ministers

Former clerical officer from Kerry jailed over child abuse imagesFormer clerical officer from Kerry jailed over child abuse images

'None of us are immune': Vast majority of new Covid cases are people under 25, officials say'None of us are immune': Vast majority of new Covid cases are people under 25, officials say

Man given bail allegedly caught later same night in Cork with cannabis worth €23k, court hearsMan given bail allegedly caught later same night in Cork with cannabis worth €23k, court hears


Lifestyle

Testosterone levels drop by 1% a year after the age of 30, so should all middle-aged men be considering hormone replacement therapy to boost their mood and libido? asks Marjorie BrennanHow male hormone deficiency can impact both mood and libido

There are two biggies for the must-see lists this week: the final episodes of I May Destroy You, on BBC; and the first episode of The Plot Against America on Sky Atlantic on Monday/Tuesday.Scene & Heard: New TV shows and old bands

When Tom McDonald, my father in law, discovered that his daughter was marrying a musician, I suspect it was music to his ears. It was if he’d been waiting for me.Tom Dunne: Ennio Morricone, my father-in-law, and me

Tips for potato-growers, a feast of Cuban music, and a scary clown, all in a Friday night's viewing.Friday's TV highlights: Tips for potato-growers, a feast of Cuban music, and a scary clown

More From The Irish Examiner