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What does this mean?
It’s your right that when adults make decisions about you, they think about what is best for you.
You might not always like what an adult decides but it might be what is best for you.
In family court judges must make decisions while considering what is in your best interest. This is in our constitution after The Children’s Referendum in 2012.
Example: A parent might read your text messages if they are worried about your safety, even though this goes against your right to privacy.
Learn more about this right
- UNCRC, article 3, it’s your right that adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions affect children.
- Under Article 42A of the Irish Constitution, it’s your right that courts consider a child’s best interests in family law and child care cases.
- Under the Adoption Act 2010, it’s your right that your welfare is the most important thing for professionals to think about when considering who is to adopt you.
- Under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 (creation of Tusla), it’s your right that Tusla thinks about your best interests when making decisions about you.
- Tusla is the Child and Family agency whose job it is to look at what is best for children in Ireland.
- Tusla help families when they have problems and they also look after children when they are in the care of the state, like in foster care.
- The ISPCC is Ireland’s national child protection charity. It runs Childline and other services to help improve the lives of children in Ireland.
- A referendum in Ireland in 2012 passed by 58% which specifically included children’s rights in the Irish Constitution. Article 42A now says that judges need to think about the best interest of the child and that children should have a say in matters that affect them in family law cases.
- A constitution is like the rules of the country. By including children’s rights in the Constitution, this meant that since 2012, new laws were written that better protect children’s rights.
- A Guardian ad Litem is available for children in some kinds of legal cases in the courts. Their job is to tell the judge the child’s wishes and to give advice on the best interest of the child.
- Barnardos – Barnardos has information about the role of a Guardian ad Litem to advise on the best interests of the child in care and family law cases
- EPIC – EPIC has information about the rights of children in care, including children’s right to have all decisions about their care made in their best interests
- Children’s Rights Alliance – unites 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child.