Friday 24 March 2017

Andrew Madden: So only one-in-three could spare the time...

THANKFULLY, Ireland has voted Yes in the Children's Referendum. By Ireland, I mean, of course, those who bothered. The turnout was disappointing -- only one third of the electorate came out to vote. After all we have learned about our appalling failure to protect and listen to children for decades, nearly 70pc of people couldn't find the five minutes it would have taken to respond to the huge call from so many political parties, NGOs and individuals to give today's and tomorrow's children a voice in our Constitution.

With that level of apathy it's just as well that all children, particularly those most vulnerable and in need, now at least have the backing of those expressed constitutional rights, because it appears they don't have the backing of so many people in this country who are still all too happy to turn a blind eye when others are in difficulty or in need.

I voted Yes because I want to see children's rights set out in our Constitution. I want children to have the strength of those constitutional rights to enable them to have their voices heard and their best interests considered in decisions which affect them, particularly in the areas of child protection, care, adoption, guardianship, custody and access.

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