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OCO – UN Report on Children’s Rights

UN report on children’s rights is a comprehensive assessment of the reality of children’s lives in Ireland – Ombudsman for Children

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report published today (Friday) is a very comprehensive assessment of the reality of children’s lives in Ireland, said Ireland first Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan.

“I am delighted that all of the issues raised in my report to the Committee have not just been referred to in the report but have resulted in quite specific recommendations. It is the direct contact with our beneficiaries; children, young people and their families, which allows my Office to make such recommendations and strengthen the position of children as individual rights holders.”

“The report makes observations at a macro level about constitutional reform and also more specific and action-orientated recommendations. An example of this is the recommended extension of the social work services provided to families and children at risk to a seven day, 24 hour service.”

“Of particular note are the many references to children who need additional support from the State. They include children in care, separated children seeking asylum, children with disabilities, children with mental health difficulties, children in conflict with the law, support services in child protection, and children with special needs. “I am really happy at the support the Committee has demonstrated to further strengthen the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. The Committee has recommended that the OCO be resourced directly through the Oireachtas and the Department of Finance.”

“The new and unique contribution that my Office can make through the complaints and investigation function was referred to by the Committee in relation to respecting the views of children and young people. It is very encouraging to see the concerns voiced by the children and young people directly to two UN Committee members at my Office last April translated into tangible guidelines for the Government. This is affirmation of a new beginning in Ireland when the voice of children and young people will be heard.”


Contact: Nikki Gallagher 086-8163246

Notes to Editors:

The Ombudsman for Children’s report to the UN Committee is available at

Background to the Ombudsman for Children’s Office:

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office is the statutory, independent monitoring body with responsibility for promoting children’s’ rights and welfare in Ireland.

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office was set up under primary legislation, the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002. This act outlines the three functions of the Office: 1) communication and participation 2) research and policy 3) complaints and investigation.

Emily Logan is Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children. She was interviewed for the job by 15 young people and was appointed to the post by the President, Mary McAleese.

The Ombudsman for Children reports directly to the Oireachtas.

Background to the UN Committee report:

Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992.

Compliance with the Convention is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which sits in Geneva.

Each State Party to the Convention is required to submit periodic reports to the Committee setting out how the State is adhering the Convention.

Ireland’s first report to the Committee was examined in 1998.

In its Concluding Observation’s (the Committee’s recommendations to the State) on Ireland’s first report, the Committee called for, among other things, the inclusion of express rights for children in the Constitution, and the establishment of an Ombudsman for Children.

On 20th September, the Committee on the Rights of the Child examined Ireland’s second report to it.

The examination was attended by an official delegation from Ireland headed by Brian Lenihan TD, Minister for Children.

The Ombudsman for Children submitted her own report to the Committee in April and met with the Committee at a preparatory meeting held in Geneva in June. Among the issues raised in the Children’s Ombudsman report are children’s rights in the Constitution, children in care of the State, child protection, children with special needs, mental health services, and the breadth of the mandate of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office.

Today (29th September), the Committee published its Concluding Observations on Ireland’s second report. This document will set out the positive aspects and the negative aspects of Ireland’s performance on children’s rights.