Deputy Tommy Broughan is calling all interest groups working with children and young people in Ireland to participate in the UN Review of Ireland’s children’s rights. Deputy Broughan welcomes the call to action sent out by the Children’s Rights Alliance earlier this week and is urging groups working with children, and young people themselves, to get involved.
This time next year, in January 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will undertake an examination of Ireland’s record on children’s rights. The Children’s Rights Alliance and UNICEF Ireland are leading a co-ordinated approach to invite children and young people to engage in this report. They are bringing together a Project Team and collating submissions to ensure that the report is as inclusive as possible. Planning group meetings took place in December 2014 and interested parties now have until Friday, 30th of January to nominate potential members for the Project Team and until Friday, 20th of February to send in submissions.
Deputy Broughan said “around 700 of our children are currently experiencing a childhood where their ‘home’ is a b&b, a hotel room, a hostel. How are their rights being met in these instances? The Government is sending children and young people into emergency homeless services instead of addressing the growing housing crisis. This is an opportunity to highlight how the Government is letting our children down”.
Deputy Broughan has recently submitted a Parliamentary Question to Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly, requesting the current number of children in emergency homeless accommodation. At the end of October 2014, there were 680 children in emergency accommodation and so far, there has nothing to indicate that this number is reducing.
Deputy Broughan said “Every day I am receiving calls and emails from distressed families who are either homeless or on the cusp of homelessness. Families, with children, who are being served notice of eviction because their landlord has raised their rent or is selling the property and there are no affordable rental properties for them or no available Local Authority housing. This problem will have a huge impact on our future generations as children are being forced to spend their formative years without one of their most basic human rights – a right to a safe place to call home”.