The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) undertook a series of consultations with children and young people to secure their views on the implementation of children’s rights in Ireland. The consultations were carried out in the context of the State’s preparations for Ireland’s next reports to the UN Committees on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Two sets of
consultations were undertaken. 1215 children aged between 4 and 13 years recruited through 21 primary schools, and 46 young people aged 13 to 18 years recruited from selected Comhairle na
nÓg (youth councils).
Both consultations were overseen by DCEDIY’s National Participation Office and Hub na nÓg. For the consultation with primary school pupils, a working group consisting of management and
teaching staff from 7 primary schools from across the country was established to co-design the consultation approach and worksheets. To inform the design of the consultation with young people, an online youth advisory group (YAG) was established consisting of eight Comhairle na nÓg members who advised on the consultation questions and the format of the consultations.
As the consultations were undertaken during the Covid-19 public health emergency the school-based consultation sessions were facilitated by the class teachers with materials provided by the DCEDIY. The young people were consulted during three online sessions facilitated by the National Participation Office and Hub na nÓg.
Participating children and young people came from a variety of locations (urban/rural) and had a good representation of harder to reach populations (children living in disadvantaged areas, non-English speakers, children with special educational needs (including Autistic Syndrome Disorder (ASD)).