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UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to question the Minister for Children about progress and shortfalls in fulfilling children’s rights

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, along with representatives from the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), will attend the constructive dialogue between the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee) and the Irish State about the State’s progress in fulfilling children’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This constructive dialogue is taking place in Geneva on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th January.

The OCO anticipates that the Committee will address a range of issues raised by the OCO in two reports submitted to the Committee in August 2022: Pieces of Us, a report by children living in Ireland, and a report by the OCO. Both reports make recommendations about actions that need to be taken to strengthen Ireland’s protection and implementation of children’s rights in a diverse range of areas.

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

“The constructive dialogue taking place in Geneva this week is extremely important. The Committee’s examination of Ireland’s progress to implement children’s rights under the CRC is a valuable opportunity for the State to engage with international children’s rights experts and to harness the Committee’s expertise to drive improvements in children’s lives. This opportunity only comes around once every six years.

“Two overall areas of concern underlie the OCO’s report to the Committee:

  1. Delays and shortfalls in measures taken by the State to mainstream children’s rights, including measures to strengthen legislation, interagency coordination, data collection, resource allocation, and awareness raising and training
  2. Persistent barriers that particular groups of children in Ireland face to enjoying their rights on an equal basis with other children, including children in poverty, children in care, children in the child justice system, children with disabilities, asylum-seeking and refugee children, Traveller children, Roma children, LGBTQI+ children, children with mental health difficulties and homeless children.

“We hope that the Committee will press the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, along with his officials, for details on how the State is proposing to effectively address these two longstanding issues.

“We also hope that the Committee will specifically ask the Minister about the issues raised by children in Pieces of Us, which heard from over 5,500 children between 2 and 17 years of age. Children are particularly concerned about the issue of equality and discrimination, including racism, homophobia and transphobia. They are frustrated and disappointed with health services, particularly mental health services. They are concerned about long waiting lists and inadequate services. They also talked about the need for changes in education, including the need for exam reform, the impact of bullying in schools and the supports they would like to see provided in schools to help them thrive.

“As we note in the OCO’s report, there have been positive developments since the Committee last examined Ireland in 2016, most recently plans to establish a new Child Poverty Unit, which were announced by the Taoiseach in December.

“However, this constructive dialogue presents a vital opportunity for the State to leverage the Committee’s expertise to pursue further actions to ensure that all decisions and actions affecting children are child-centred and rights based.”




Notes to Editors:


Dr Muldoon and representatives from the OCO are in Geneva to attend the constructive dialogue between the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Irish State on 24 and 25 January 2023.


The Pieces of Us report and OCO’s alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child can be found here:




Aoife Carragher
OCO Head of Communications
087 1484173/