The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) is an independent office. The OCO was set up in 2004 under a law called the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002.
Under this law, the Ombudsman for Children has two main roles:
- to look into complaints made by or for children and young people about the actions of public organisations;
- to promote the rights and welfare of children and young people under 18 years old living in Ireland.
The OCO’s work to promote children’s rights and welfare includes:
- finding out what children and young people are concerned about and highlighting their opinions to the Government and other people who make decisions that affect them
- supporting people, including children and young people, to find out about children’s rights and how those rights can be respected, protected and realised
- giving advice to the Government and others to help make sure laws and plans affecting children and young people respect children’s rights
- encouraging public organisations to work in ways that promote children and young people’s rights and welfare
- carrying out research to get a better understanding of issues that are important in children and young people’s lives.