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Children calling for Government action following UN Committee’s observations

Over 100 children from across Ireland came together to discuss the action they expect from Government as a result of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations to the State. The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) is today (Thursday, 8th Feb) publishing Pieces of Us; What’s Next? a report that details what children want to happen on key issues.

Piece of Us; What’s Next? follows a series of reports published by the OCO as part of Ireland’s reporting process to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. 5,515 children took part in a national online survey and 200 children participated in focus groups for Pieces of Us, the children’s report that went to the UN Committee in August 2022. A group of children travelled to Geneva to share the findings of Pieces of Us and this latest report Pieces of Us: What’s Next? is the final part of the process where children reflected on the what the committee said and focused on the key actions they feel the Government now need to take.

Education, mental health, equality, play and leisure, hearing children’s voices and protecting the most vulnerable were the key themes for children.

Children are calling for a series of changes in schools and education settings. They want to take the pressure out of the Leaving Certificate; remove the stigma around the Leaving Cert Applied and Leaving Cert Vocational Programme. They want more cultural awareness training for teachers and better disability services.

In mental health children want more, and better staff for CAMHS. They want shorter waiting lists and an understanding that you cannot be ‘too young’ to experience mental health issues. They want more mental health support services in schools and improvements in transgender healthcare.

Speaking ahead of the publication Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon said:

“Hearing directly from children and considering their views in the decision making process is essential. Pieces of Us: What’s Next? provides Government and policy makers with a clear insight into children’s priorities.

“I am not surprised that education, mental health and equality are some of the key issues raised by children. These are areas where lots of change and development is underway and it is essential that children’s views are included in the conversation.

“The OCO Youth Advisory Panel led this whole process and their hard work and commitment have been key not only to the success of the report, but to the impact that is has had in influencing the concluding observations. We will continue to share the messages from Pieces of Us: What’s Next? and to support the YAP in bringing these message directly to decision makers.”


  • The Ombudsman for Children’s Office Youth Advisory Panel is made up of 20 young people ages 12-17 who advise the OCO on its work.
  • The OCO YAP worked on Pieces of Us– the children’s report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, A Piece of My Mind – a consultation on youth mental health service and Pieces of Us: What’s Next? the final report reflecting on the UN Committee’s Concluding Observations.


Aoife Carragher
Head of Communications
087 148 4173