Thursday, November 26, 2009

Call for protection of children

Call for protection of children

PAMELA NEWENHAM
The Commission of Investigation report into allegations of clerical child abuse underlines the urgent need to put children’s rights into the Constitution, human rights group Amnesty International has said.

Responding to the Murphy report which concluded that clerical child abuse was covered up by the Dublin Catholic Archdiocese and other authorities, Amnesty International Ireland executive director said “our children are our responsibility, and not the responsibility of any agency that places itself above the law…today we see the consequences not only of cover up on the part of the Catholic Church, but also of State failure to guarantee children’s rights and child protection”.

Colm O’Gorman went on to say “we had the Ferns report in 2005, the Ryan report in May and now this…unless our most fundamental law demands that we put children’s rights at the heart of the decisions we make they will remain targets for abuse and neglect”.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomed the publication of the Murphy Report saying publication of the investigations indicated the first step in the healing process for the victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop, chief executive of DRCC said “we now have the opportunity with all the information we have as a result of both the Murphy and the Ryan Reports, to ensure that these atrocities never happen again”.

Reparation must be made and policies and procedures put in place to ensure that these atrocities do not happen again, she said, adding “it is not enough to have Guidelines for Child Protection anymore we must put Child Protection on a Statutory Basis”.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) expressed concern and frustration over the report findings.

Chief executive Ashley Balbirnie said “to ensure our children are better protected, and to ensure that yet another report on child protection and welfare has more than a piecemeal approach to the ongoing recommendations, we need to see a significant overhaul of how the system currently operates”.

This includes placing children first guidelines on a statutory footing, ensuring cross border consistency in child protection systems and enshrining children's rights in the Constitution, she said.

The Irish Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) said the Church should make full and proper reparations as far as is possible to the victims of its wayward priests without the excessive legal and adversarial approach previously adapted.

Calling for the Pope to appoint a special representative to Ireland to oversee the entire inquiry process in conjunction with the civil authorities, it said similar inquires into abuse in all other dioceses in Ireland should take place.

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