Skip to main content

You are here:

Advice of the Ombudsman for Children on the Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009

The Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009 was published on 16 September 2009 by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The Bill provides for the High Court to have statutory jurisdiction to hear applications by the HSE for special care orders or interim special care orders where a child’s welfare may require his or her detention in a special care unit. The Bill also addresses the question of the appointment of guardians ad litem and provides for the registration and inspection of special care units in accordance with the Health Act 2007.

Although the Bill is welcome, it could be enhanced in a number of respects to better serve the interests of the children affected by it and to guarantee that their rights as set out in international human rights standards to which the State is party are fully respected. In particular, the Bill should be framed in a manner compatible with the State’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)2.