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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Ellen and Carla sing the praises of children for Ombudsman

Emma Jane Hade

Published 26/04/2014 | 02:30

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Ellen O'Mahony and Carla Ryan who composed the original song 'Shield' for the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Children's Ombudsman
Ellen O'Mahony and Carla Ryan who composed the original song 'Shield' for the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Children's Ombudsman
Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children
Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children

OMBUDSMAN for Children Emily Logan is calling for the establishment of an Oireachtas committee for her area of work, in order to increase their financial independence.

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She was speaking yesterday at a symposium celebrating the 10th anniversary of her office, and was joined by speakers from a range of fields, including Professor Kirsten Sandberg, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Ms Logan said the establishment of a committee, which would also determine their budgets, would be a goal on her long-term plan.

"At the moment, I have independence in terms of my functions, I report directly to the Oireachtas. But, I don't have any reporting relationship to any minister," she told the Irish Independent.

"I think in the long term, what I was looking at is the practice in other jurisdictions. This means that you would have, for instance, an Oireachtas committee that would not only listen to the functions of an Ombudsman, but determine their budgets.

"To reach the level of independence we are talking about, I would like to see a greater and more direct relationship with the Oireachtas and Ombudsman institutions."

Ms Logan said that she does not believe Ombudsman institutions currently "enjoy the level of independence required."

Dr Kirsten Sandberg said it is "really important that there is reporting mechanisms" for children, and that "someone is on the other end."

Ms Logan will next year enter her second term as the Children's Ombudsman.

She said that the institution will now spend the next two years working to "enhance the position of children" in legislation.

"(This includes) children affected by assisted human reproduction, children affected by surrogacy, children affected by adoption and children raised by same sex couples."

Irish Independent

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