Ireland says 'yes' in children's rights vote

By staff writers
12 Nov 2012

Children's rights groups and charities have welcomed the passing of the children's referendum in Ireland by 57.4 per cent to 42.6 per cent.

“The passing of this amendment will help make childhood a good, secure and loving space for all our children,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said in a statement after the result was announced.

“It will also give hope, reassurance and confidence to parents, foster parents and vulnerable children,” he said.

The constitutional amendment makes changes in a number of areas of children’s rights in Ireland. These include adoption, child protection, state intervention in neglect cases, and giving children a direct say in their own protection proceedings.

A million people took part in the vote on Saturday 10 November 2012, with 3.1 million people eligible to take part overall.

Despite a realtively low turnout, the Irish Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, said that it was a “historic day” for children’s rights in her country.

'No' campaigners had tried to take advantage of a controversy over information given by the government, which was criticised by the Supreme Court.

In the end, however, they were unable to mobilise against changes backed enthusiastically by Barnardos, the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), the Campaign for Children, and others.

Referendum proposal supporter Michelle Rogers commented on the Irish Times website: "It is a stunning result for the 'yes' campaign, especially since the furore over the Government's website would have led to more people voting no than would otherwise have been the case."

* Irish children's charities urge 'yes' vote in constitutional referendum - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17350

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