Pictured: An Irish Housing Network protest just as the Christmas season was ramping up.
The nation is getting grilled again in the international spotlight. This time over our the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We ratified it back in 1992 and today’s examination will be carried out by a group of 18 independent experts elected by the UN.
Michael Barron is he founder of Belong2 and now the director of EQUATE. It’s a relatively new organization looking for a drastic root change in the schooling system.
Here’s what he had to say:
“No child should be excluded from their local school because of their religion or non-religion. This is the message we are bringing to the UN committee. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is due to question the Government on what it is doing to reform school admissions so as to end religious discrimination in this area”
“EQUATE is also raising the issue of faith formation during school hours with the Committee. It is important the Government explain its rationale for not comprehensively providing for a parent’s constitutional right to opt their child out of faith formation in our schools. In our recent B&A opinion poll 84% of people believe that schools should be reformed so that no child is excluded because of their religion or non-religion.”
You might remember the last time we were hauled before the UN:
“The UN Human Rights Committee recommended that the state review and revise existing legal and constitutional barriers to abortion at least in the circumstances of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality; adopt a guidance document to clarity what constitutes a “real and substantive risk” to life, and consider making information on crisis pregnancy options more readily available alongside ensuring that health-care providers who supply information are not subject to criminal sanctions. The full text of their comment is available on the UN’s Website.”
Meanwhile away from the la-dee-da of the UN and back on the home front:
“The Irish Housing Network calls on all support this Thursday at 5.30pm outside City Hall as it marks the publication of a report by the Children’s Ombudsman into the rights of the child in Ireland, and highlights the neglect of over 1,600 children currently homeless in Ireland and hundreds of families trapped in Direct Provision.
With almost 1,600 children homeless and many more in direct provision centres, the Network believes that the Government’s inaction and indifference to the housing crisis and the racist care systems in place for children seeking asylum has placed these thousands of children in huge risk and contravenes the development and protection rights of the child as laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Irish Housing Network calls on all support this Thursday at City Hall to show solidarity with the thousands of families living in sub-standard and trapped conditions of direct provision and emergency accommodation.”