Youth Council welcomes Yes vote in Children’s Referendum
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) welcomes the Yes vote in the Children’s referendum announced today.
The 58% Yes vote is very positive and represents a significant advance for children’s rights as the constitutional amendments will ensure that our political, social care and legal system better respond to the needs of children from now on.
In particular, NYCI believes the legal provisions requiring that the best interests of the child be paramount and that the voice of the child be heard in issues which affect him or her will be profound for each child and can form the basis for a much greater focus on the needs and voice of the child in other policy areas.
“NYCI warmly welcomes the verdict of the people, but this is the beginning rather than the end of a process. The constitutional change is a step – a very important step – but it is now crucial that the Government bring forward the reforms and provide the resources in the areas of social care and child protection to make the new constitution a reality and to ensure that no child has to suffer the neglect and trauma that so many have endured in the past,” stated Mary Cunningham, Director of NYCI.
“NYCI is a non-political organization. We would not normally engage in a referendum campaign, but the rights of children were too important for us to stand on the sidelines. Therefore following consultation and a vote among our members, we decided to campaign actively for a Yes vote. We want to thank all our members, staff and volunteers for their work to make children’s rights a reality not only over the last few months, but over the last number of years,” continued Ms Cunningham.
The people have spoken. It is now up to the Government to deliver the legislation, reforms and resources so we can fulfill the commitments in the constitution and truly make Ireland one of the best places to grow up for all children,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie
NYCI Yes position
As a non-governmental and non political organisation NYCI does not normally take a position in elections/referendums. However NYCI has campaigned for a Children’s Rights amendment for many years and the NYCI board referred the matter to a vote of member organisations in accordance with NYCI Articles of Association. NYCI members advocated taking a Yes position by an overwhelming majority.