Wednesday 21 March 2018

Frances Fitzgerald says Government committed to Children’s referendum by year end

Anita Guidera

CHILDREN'S Minister Frances Fitzgerald has reinforced the government's "clear commitment" to hold the Children's Referendum by the end of the year.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School this morning she said the wording would be published "in plenty of time" for discussion with the public and with all the interested parties.

"What we are doing is taking the committee wording and we are now working on transferring that.

"We are looking at a transition from the committee wording to a wording that you put in an actual referendum. That task can't be underestimated because a committee report is different to an actual referendum that you put before the people," she said.

The minister said that if passed, children would be recognised as citizens for the first time in the constitution.

“It will look at the best interests of children, how that can be encapsulated as a concept and that the views of children will be taken on board in key decisions that effect them,” she said.

The minister also expressed concern about the over sexualisation of children partly as a result of new technology.

“Childhood is less of a protected space than it has been. There’s an awful lot that intrudes on it, that takes away childhood. We need to stand up and say no to the parts of this that are inappropriate,” she said.

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