The Proposed Referendum on Children’s Rights and Child Protection

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

A joint representation of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) met with the Minister for Children, Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D. and his advisors.

DRCC and RCNI were among the groups who made submissions to the Joint Committee on Child Protection. Both groups commended the Minister on the Report and were anxious to see its recommendations implemented.

It was a very useful meeting and both organisations impressed on the Minister the urgency of redressing the current legal position that arose from the decision of the Supreme Court in the CC case. Both organisations expressed their support for the committee’s recommendation to amend the Constitution to permit the Oireachtas to enact laws providing for absolute liability in respect of sexual activity with children.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop CEO, DRCC said “We would support a proposal for a Referendum on the inclusion of Children’s Rights and Child Protection in our Constitution from the Minister.”

Cliona Saidlear of RCNI said “The absolute liability referendum is about ensuring the child witness in a statutory rape case is protected, as far as possible, from further harm in our courtrooms, when the State prosecutes sexual offenders. We look forward to seeing the wording of the referendum to allow for absolute liability.”

For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

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