Statement from Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Labour Party, Dublin North Central
Tuesday, January 24th 2012
The Government Report Card launched by the Children's Rights Alliance yesterday shows the government are making encouraging moves, but that there is no room for complacency, Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said.
Attending the launch yesterday, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: 'The overall C+ grade highlights the government's commitment to construct the Children's Hospital, the continuing focus on Child literacy and also the determination to hold a Children's Rights Referendum this year. The C+ grade is the highest grade awarded to any government since the initiative was started four years ago, which is encouraging'
'However the stark reality is that our child poverty rates are alarmingly high, with 19% of children living in poverty and 9% of children living in persistent poverty. It is clear that a re-focusing on the well-being of our children is incredibly important and immediately necessary as childhood is so precious and so short.'
'A re-balancing of child benefit payments to the most poor, as well as other strategies focusing on housing, support services and educational resources will surely assist in improving the plight of our most vulnerable children'
'The ongoing scandal of the incarceration of children in St Patrick's in the Mountjoy Prison complex must also be addressed as a matter of urgency.'
'I would encourage the Minister for Children and other relevant Ministers to examine the Children's Rights Alliance Report Card carefully and to act to protect our children, with particular focus on those who have started their living living in persistent poverty.' Deputy Ó Ríordáin concluded.