Children & Youth Advancing Children’s Rights

Putting Children First

Republic of Ireland | Northern Ireland | 2004 - 2012

Children have rights. They include the right to education, health, adequate standard of living, protection from abuse and neglect, and equality and non-discrimination. Over 8 years, Atlantic invested $28 million in groups in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland advocating for policies and programs meant to advance the rights of children.

Watch: The Children's Rights Alliance assembled a group of young people (15-18 years) to make a short film about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

What We Learned From This Work

  1. Children and young people can be real agents of change when they are working on issues of their choice and not those allocated to them as part of an adult agenda.

  2. Government can welcome independent monitoring that helps them meet their obligations to children and young people.

  3. Where we made sustained investment, it helped advocates achieve their immediate policy goals and helped build stronger organizations to continue the work.

Scoring Big

Atlantic grantees achieved several victories through their advocacy work, and each time the real winners were the children and young people.

Enshrining Rights in Constitution

Atlantic grantees, including Barnados, the Children’s Rights Alliance and Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, led the way for the successful passage of a 2012 referendum to change the Irish Constitution to strengthen children’s rights.

Securing Better Entitlements

Voice of Young People in Care and Empowering People in Care showed that involving  young people in decisions about their lives can deliver improved standards in the care system.

Setting Legal Precedents

The Children’s Law Centre secured judgments that paved the way for better access to housing and health services for vulnerable young people.

Summaries of Case Studies, Evaluations & Reports

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