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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Oberstown Children Detention Campus: Chairperson Designate (28 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I also wish to echo the welcome extended to Professor Kilkelly. It is heartening to see someone with such a focus on children's rights as chair of Oberstown because this also is an opportunity for a new start in respect of policies, procedures and how matters are dealt with. It is an opportunity to draw from best practice and to draw up and perhaps be the leading lights in what is best...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Oberstown Children Detention Campus: Chairperson Designate (28 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: Absolutely, and I am very satisfied with the answers. One thing I did not raise was more of a comment on the issue of board fees. Professor Kilkelly said she was not taking board fees. For me, if this was a business or corporate issue there would be board fees and we would all accept that. We need to attract people to the board and if that means we get people who are independent, will...

Seanad: Direct Provision: Motion (27 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I move:That Seanad Éireann:- welcomes the final Report of the ‘Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers’, published in June 2015; - notes, according to the latest available statistics from the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), in its Monthly Report September 2015, there...

Seanad: Direct Provision: Motion (27 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I thank, in particular, Senator Fiach Mac Conghail who worked with me on this issue, on which we have been at one. I also thank Senators Brian Ó Domhnaill, Martin Conway, David Norris, Marie Moloney, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Ivana Bacik. It is great that the House is united on the issue. Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is correct to ask what we have achieved. For me, what...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I move amendment No. 2:In page 6, line 14, to delete "child pornography" and substitute "child sexual abuse material". These amendments were also tabled on Committee Stage. As I have already articulated my views on this issue on Committee and Second Stage, I do not intend to be repetitive today. I appreciate that the amendments as drafted technically do not address everything that needs to...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I thank the Minister for her reply. I believe there are proposals at EU and Council of Europe level to look at this issue. I hope that Ireland will be at the vanguard and lead any change in that regard. I appreciate that the change cannot be made today, but I hope the Minister will accept the need for that change. It is an issue I feel strongly about and that has the support, as I said,...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I thank the Minister for bringing forward this amendment in response to my colleague, Senator Katherine Zappone, who raised this issue on Second and Committee Stages. I know she would have preferred if the Minister had taken the approach set out in amendment No. 45 in regard to the offence of abuse of the position of dependence and trust. but I appreciate what the Minister is doing.

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: It is not.

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I, too, support amendment No. 28. I had not formed my opinion on this issue when I first entered the Seanad. It is something I have researched on my own and then met with others to form my opinion. The reality is that the 2009 Kelleher report stated 11% of those trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation were under 18 years of age. We know from the Ekberg report of 2004 that the...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I wanted to make the record absolutely clear. Thank you.

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I move amendment No. 39:In page 26, to delete lines 12 to 14 and substitute the following:"(17)(a) This section and section 19B do not apply where a complainant or witness has expressly waived his or her right to non-disclosure of a relevant record without leave of the court. (b) No complainant or witness shall be deemed to have expressly waived his or her right to non-disclosure unless he...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I very much welcome the Minister's response and her commitment to make these amendments. I was seeking to provide an additional layer of protection, as she advised, for children. I have heard all too often, particularly from parents of affected children, that because of the potential for counselling notes to be disclosed, they have not sought to bring charges for sexual offences. In...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: We must ensure our law copperfastens this. I ask the Minister to take this on board in her further deliberations. I have heard all too often about that fear. I tried to balance rights in my amendments. I have heard from children who have been in counselling where they talk about their hopes, dreams and fears. This is not factual evidence. Children will say things they are repeating...

Seanad: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I welcome the passage of this Bill by the Seanad. As stated by the Minister, the Bill concerns many aspects on which several of us have been working for many years, including the sexual exploitation of children, the purchase of sexual services, incest and the disclosure of third parties, which are some of the key aspects in which I have been involved. While I have not been successful in...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Health Products Regulatory Authority: Chairman Designate (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I welcome Ms Horan before this committee and thank her for having put her name forward for this position, for having outlined to us her rationale and background and for the information that was sent to us in advance. I will not repeat what my colleagues have said. One query which I previously brought up with the Minister for Health regarding the Health Products Regulatory Authority, HPRA,...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Wellness, Well-being and Mental Health: Discussion (21 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I thank the witnesses. It is great we have a focus on this important issue today. I do not disagree with anything the witnesses said. I applaud the work being done by Youth Work volunteers and youth organisations. Every week, approximately 40,000 volunteers in Ireland work with young people. I would love this same style of work being brought into the SPHE programme in schools, because...

Seanad: Order of Business (20 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I stand to welcome the news this morning from the Minister for Education and Skills that she plans to write to all schools telling them to cease allowing the drinks industry or Drinkaware to come into our schools, an issue I raised as a Commencement matter last May and which I am delighted to see come to fruition. It came as a result of a meeting with the Alcohol Health Alliance, which is...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Educational Reform (19 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I welcome the Minister to the Chamber for this Commencement debate. Recently, I had the honour of speaking at the launch of Equate, a new non-governmental organisation dealing with children's rights and education reform. I welcome Mr. Michael Barron and his team to the Visitors' Gallery. Equate wants to see an education system that reflects the diversity of 21st century Ireland and a...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Educational Reform (19 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: I thank the Minister for personally attending the Seanad to take this matter. It is important that his Department has a key role in looking at our education policy and ensuring that both the voice of the child and the best interests of the child are not only heard, but play a key role. The structures that are being set up are doing that. It was very interesting for me, when we were before...

Seanad: Road Traffic Bill 2016: Second Stage (19 Jan 2016)

Jillian van Turnhout: As no other Senators are offering, I call the Minister to conclude.

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