Ireland to defend record on children's rights before UN Committee today

Ireland to defend record on children's rights before UN Committee today

Ireland will appear before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva this morning.

Homelessness and access to education are two of the main issues expected to be raised.

More than 1,000 Irish children are currently living in emergency accommodation - something the group has highlighted as being particularly concerning.

Tanya Ward of the Children's Rights Alliance is attending today's hearing, and is hoping that it will spark action on the issue.

"We have a serious issue in Ireland where we've got 1,600 children living in emergency accommodation with their families," she said.

"And this accommodation, it's normally hotels, it's normally in one room, and what's very serious about what's happening in Ireland is that children are living in this situation for long periods of time."

The committee has already raised concerns about the fact that the vast majority of Ireland's schools operate under a religious ethos.


Michael Barron of campaign group EQUATE said that he is hoping that it will recommend children have more access to non-religious education.

“The creation of the Ombudsman for Children office – that was a recommendation from the committee here in Geneva,” he said.

“The recommendation around holding a children’s referendum, that came from the Committee on the Rights of the Child as well.

“So some very significant things come from this committee.”

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