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Statement by the Ombudsman for Children in relation to the proposed Constitutional referendum

The Ombudsman for Children is currently preparing her submission to the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children following an invitation by its Chairperson, Deputy Mary O’Rourke.

The Ombudsman for Children has a statutory mandate to offer advice to the Government on any matter relating to the rights and welfare of children, and in particular, to child-proof legislation under section 7(4) of the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002.

The Ombudsman for Children is concerned about a call for an early and limited referendum and reiterates her call for a considered debate on the matter of children’s rights and the Constitution.

The Ombudsman for Children will make her submission to the Joint Committee on 31 January 2008 and this advice will be made public.


The Ombudsman for Children originally called for express rights for children to be included in the Constitution in a submission to the All-Party Committee on the Constitution in January 2005, in the first year of the establishment of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office.

The Ombudsman for Children was appointed by the President and is accountable to the Oireachtas.

Click here to read Report of the Ombudsman for Children to the Oireachtas on the Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2007 – March 2007

Click here to read Advice of the Ombudsman for Children on the proposed referendum on children’s rights – December 2006 (PDF, 183KB)

Click here to read Submission to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution – January 2005 (PDF, 157KB)