Report Card 2012: Is the Government Keeping Its Promises to Children?
Resource type: News
Children's Rights Alliance | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]
Report Card 2012 was published on 23 January 2012. This year the Alliance has given the Irish Government its best result in four years – an overall ‘C+’ grade for its progress to date on its key promises to children.
The grade is in recognition of Government’s decision to provide the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs with full status at Cabinet; the establishment of a dedicated Department of Children and Youth Affairs; approval for a new children’s hospital; and, most importantly, a firm commitment to hold a referendum on children’s rights in 2012. However, Government was also marked down owing to “glaring violations of children’s rights”, most significantly in Budget 2012, which failed to protect children, plunging vulnerable families further into poverty, and for Government’s treatment of children detained in St Patrick’s Institution (an E grade and F grade respectively).
Commitments in Report Card 2012 are organised in five sections; the first four sections are the same as previous editions (Education, Health, Material Wellbeing and Safeguarding Childhood), with a new section on ‘Realising Children’s Rights’ added to capture new commitments in this area. The Alliance has tracked 23 commitments within the Programmefor Government. Emanating from this analysis are 29 immediate actions, recommended by the Alliance, that the Government should take in 2012 to promote the rights of children.
Report Card 2012 was graded by an external panel, of which the following were members:
- Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chairholder in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Director of the Child & Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland Galway;
- Professor Sheila Greene, Former Director, Children’s Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin;
- Professor Colm Harmon, Director of the UCDGeary Institute;
- Professor Áine Hyland, Emeritus Professor and former Vice-President, University College Cork (pictured);
- Sally Anne Kinahan, Assistant General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions;
- Danny McCoy, Director General, Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation represented by Kara McGann; and
- Judge Catherine McGuinness, Member of the Council of State (pictured).