Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Discussion
I welcome members and any members of the public who may be watching on Oireachtas TV. The purpose of today's meeting is to discuss the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child on World Children's Day. I welcome Dr. Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, and Dr. Karen McAuley, head of policy in the Office of the Ombudsman for children.
I draw the attention of witnesses to the fact that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the committee. However, if they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. I ask members and witnesses to please turn off their mobile phones or switch them to flight mode as they will interfere with the sound system and make it difficult for parliamentary reporters to report on the meeting and adversely the broadcast on television and web streaming. Any opening statement witnesses submit to the committee will be published on the committee website after the meeting. After the witnesses have made their presentation, there will be questions from the members of the committee.