Making Rights Real for Children: A Children’s Rights Audit of Irish Law

The Children’s Rights Alliance and the Law Centre for Children and Young People have come together to develop this unique publication Making Rights Real for Children: A Children’s Rights Audit of Irish Law. We initiated this project to capitalise on the achievements of the 2012 Children’s Referendum, which strengthened children’s rights in the Irish Constitution. This report builds on an initial study conducted by Professor Ursula Kilkelly on behalf of the Ombudsman for Children, Barriers to the Realisation of Children’s Rights in Ireland, published in 2007. Each chapter is authored by a different legal expert in their field and has been peer reviewed. The result is a solid picture of the current legal protection that exists for children in Ireland as well as an overview of the gaps that remain in the recognition of their rights. There is a firm focus on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution. Recommendations are made to further strengthen children’s rights taking account of existing jurisprudence and practice. Proposals given provide a concrete foundation for future law reform. In essence, this is a timely and relevant stock take of Irish law to guide law makers, policy makers, government and other stakeholders on where further action is needed to legislate to protect children’s rights in Ireland, as well as to identifying potential areas for future litigation.