Pieces of Us – What’s Next?

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Pieces of Us – What’s Next?

Published February 2024


Author: OCO Youth Advisory Panel

Publisher: The Ombudsman for Children’s Office

Date: 2024

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children and Young People

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Child, Participation, UNCRC, Voice, Young People



Ireland signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991. By doing so, the State made a commitment to promote and protect all of the rights in the UNCRC for all children in Ireland. The State also agreed to report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) on how law, policy and provision was meeting this commitment approximately every five years.


Ireland last reported to the Committee in 2016. As part of that reporting process, Ireland’s Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA) and UNICEF Ireland worked with children and young people to produce a Children’s Report called Picture Your Rights.1 Ireland (also called the State in this report) reported to the Committee again in 2022. This time, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) undertook to produce a Children’s Report for the Committee.


The OCO was set up under the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002 (as amended) and the office opened its doors in 2004. The Office is an independent, statutory body with two main functions:

  • to investigate complaints made by, or on behalf of children about poor administration by public bodies that have an adverse effect on a child or children; and
  • to raise awareness, promote, protect and uphold the rights of children under the UNCRC.

The OCO undertakes a lot of different work to meet these functions. They include a free, impartial and independent complaints service, advice to Government on policy and legislation, research on issues affecting and of concern to children, and activities to raise awareness of children’s rights and the UNCRC among children, adults and the general public. They also include consultations with children and external stakeholders, and participative initiatives with children designed to elevate their voices and views and increase their involvement in decision-making.