Children’s Referendum

Are you kind of like me hearing lots of different things on the radio and the television about the upcoming referendum? Well I took it upon myself to do a bit of research on it to see if I could understand it and create my own opinion on it.

The upcoming referendum will be held on the 10th of November and will decide on whether or not the constitution will be change. The proposed changes are in relation to children’s rights. If the majority of the voters vote yes for the changes proposed in the upcoming referendum the following changes:

It will provide the highest level of legal protection to vulnerable children and their families. This will take a child-centered approach to the protection of all children. This will also allow the state to better support families who are struggling and intervene before the situation gets to a crisis point. This will focus on the child’s safety and welfare.

It will allow the up to 2,000 children trapped in long term state care to be adopted and given a second chance at having a loving permanent family. This will allow a child who has been in long-term state care  who is unable to return to their birth family have a loving family, To be nurtured in a way that they have not experience for a long time. At this point in time there are up to 2,000 children who must remain in state care because of the current constitution.

This referendum is a statement of intent - it says who we are as a country and how we value children. In the last 30 years there has been up to 17 reports with show how we have as a country have failed in caring out correct child protection laws. Many of these reports called for a change to the constitution for a reform in child protection. This change must be taken to ensure that children and protected by law sufficiently.

This referendum will ensure the best interests of children are the paramount concern in judicial decisions affecting children. This means that the court will have to consider the child’s best interest when making decisions in relation to guardianship, custody, access or concerning adoption. At the moment in cases affecting children directly the child’s welfare is not considered. This will also mean that the view of a child will be listened to and have an effect of the outcome on the decision. This will be very important in situations such as who will have custody of a child. Currently theses proceedings can take place without once consulting the children involved.

If the majority of the voters vote no the referendum the above changes will not take place and the constitution will stay the same as it is now. In the constitution at the moment the laws in relation to children will be the opposite of the above. Many people believe that children are invisible to the constitution and have no say in matters which are related to them. Watch this video about the children’s referendum:

In my opinion I think that a yes vote will make the difference to children. So if you are able to vote and you want a change for children then on November 10th go and vote yes to make a difference. I want to vote but I am only 17, and the referendum will be taking place the week before my birthday but if I was able to vote I would vote yes.  Children are the future of this country, so we need to show them that we care about them and that we value them. So if you want to make a difference to a child’s life then vote yes. 

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K said...

Very well said Siobhan. I think it's shocking that children are not protected as well as they should be and I hope, for the innocents sake, that this referendum passes.

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