Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Children's Rights: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]


1:30 pm

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 1:

To delete all words after “ensure a fair start for every child,” and substitute the following:

“affirms that: — it is the first duty of Government to provide for the wellbeing, education and development of children, regardless of their origins, and to provide them all with an equal opportunity to contribute, to the extent of their abilities, to the economic, social and cultural life of the nation;

— a fair pathway to citizenship should be provided to all children who have been resident in Ireland for three years, regardless of their parents’ citizenship or residency status;

— the accommodation of homeless families with children must be the immediate and urgent priority of housing policy;

— same-sex couples who are parents should have equal parenting rights to those afforded to opposite-sex couples;

— the Government should ensure that quality childcare is genuinely available to all and is affordable;

— all children should be entitled to a prompt assessment of any special needs and the provision of whatever support services they may need;

— the Government should strive to drive down the cost of education for families, reverse cuts to the funding of schools and eliminate the need for mandatory contributions to be paid by parents to national schools;

— over 8 per cent of children consistently experience poverty and that almost one in four children are experiencing deprivation in modern Ireland; and

— the percentage of lone-parent households that are at risk of poverty has increased since 2016; and calls on the Government to: — facilitate the swift passage of the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017, which will 358 increase the amount of leave that a parent can take to care for their child and extend the period during which the leave can be taken to the first 12 years of the child’s life;

— allow for the swift passage of the Shared Maternity Benefit and Leave Bill 2018, which was introduced by Fianna Fáil to allow parents to share maternity leave;

— immediately commence sections 2 and 3 of the Child and Family Relationships Act 2015;

— immediately implement actions to ensure no children remain in homelessness;

— immediately implement the Affordable Childcare Scheme, as announced in Budget 2019;

— address the extremely lengthy waiting periods that are faced by children awaiting a disability assessment;

— increase the availability of vital disability services for children, including occupational therapy and speech and language therapy;

— increase capitation funding to schools around the country, thus reducing the need for parental contributions;

— immediately establish a register in order to facilitate adopted persons’ access to information surrounding their birth and to enable mutually agreed upon exchanges between birth parents and adopted people;

— prepare and implement a comprehensive strategy to eliminate consistent child poverty and material deprivation, with clear timeframes for its implementation; and

— report to the Dáil no less than quarterly upon the implementation of this strategy and in particular to report on current numbers of children in consistent poverty or deprivation.”


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