One Child International today delivered an open letter to Irish Minister for Children Barry Andrews requesting the deferment of the referendum for the Constitutional Amendment for Children.
Despite the turmoil in the Irish Government and the mass resignations of Ministers, including Minister for Health Mary Harney, Andrews has shown no sign of changing his position on this crucial amendment. Minister Andrews told the Irish Independent newspaper, as reported on Friday January 21st, that he continues to prepare for the referendum on children's rights. The referendum will be part of the upcoming election for a new Government.
Evin Daly, One Child International's CEO, appealed to Mr. Andrews to put off the referendum until after the election. Daly's concern is that the amendment may be rejected 'not for what it is, but because of the reputation of those who are proposing it.' Andrew's party Fianna Fail have a popularity rating of 8% in Ireland at present reflecting their lack of popularity with voters.
Mr. Daly went on to say that the referendum was critical to the future welfare of children in Ireland and 'deserves to be voted on based on its own merits unencumbered by partisan politics.'
The wording of the Amendment was drafted by Mary O'Rourke TD and is considered a vital step forward for enshrining children's rights in the Irish constitution. It has undergone minor changes since its first draft and was distributed by Mr. Andrews for comment last week.
Daly has been an outspoken critic of what he perceives as Andrew's lack of progress in providing tangible help to disadvantaged Irish children. His criticism reflects 12 months of research into the welfare of children in Ireland by One Child International which included interviews with victims of abuse, representatives from law enforcement, child protection, NGO's and child advocates.
Copies of the open letter were widely distributed to the Dail, Senate, selected NGO's and the media. It may be read here .
One Child International is a children's charity with offices in Dublin, Fort Lauderdale, and Sydney. They provide child protection information and services worldwide through their websites including www.abusewatch.eu . Their mission is to 'protect children from abuse.' Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Letter to Minister for Children Barry Andrews ( Read )