Skip to main content

You are here:

Emily Logan to deliver keynote address at international children’s rights conference

Emily Logan, will today (Tuesday) deliver the keynote speech, the Janusz Korczak Lecture, on the theme of Best Interests of the Child at a Council of Europe conference on children’s rights entitled Building a Europe for and with Children.

Emily said

“The title of this conference is Building a Europe for and with Children and I am very proud that as Ireland’s Ombudsman for Children, I was invited to give the Janusz Korczak Lecture. The issue of children’s rights is very important in Ireland at the moment and at this crucial time in advance of the Oireachtas Committee making their views known about the proposed Children’s Rights referendum, colleagues in Europe are interested to hear what we have to say. There is a real opportunity for Ireland to show leadership at European level by enshrining children’s rights, in particular the principle of Best Interests, in our Constitution.”

Emily added:

“In my work as Ombudsman for Children in Ireland, I have come across many people working in service provision, in the public service, in schools who are truly committed to acting in the best interests of the children they come into contact with. Sometimes, however, there are barriers in the way of those who may wish to consider the best interests of children in decision making or in service provision. While there are provisions in our domestic laws providing for the consideration of a child’s best interests in certain specific situations, the picture is not complete. Much of the debate about children’s rights in Ireland has centred on cases heard in our courts of law, however the most common obstacle to children’s rights is the absence on administrative authorities to consider a child’s best interests. My belief in the need for Constitutional change is not directed at courts of law but a much more insidious obstacle that is public administration systems and other public sectors.”

On the implications of how the inclusion of children’s rights at Constitutional level may affect families, Emily said:

“I completely support the view that the family is to be respected. In fact the State makes a poor parent. With twenty six years experience of working with children I know very well that the most vulnerable environment for some children is their own home and it is for all children that we seek change. However, the change I seek is not for the State to replace parents but to respond in a proportionate way, one that will support, not punish families in difficulty.”

The conference, which is taking place in Stockholm, is being organised under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and will be attended by national delegations from Council of Europe member states as well as representatives from intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and ombudspersons for children.


The full copy of Emily’s speech is available here

For more information contact Nikki Gallagher at 01-8656800 or 086-8163246