ChildFund Ireland has welcomed the decision by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to review Ireland’s Foreign Policy and External Relations. We have had the opportunity to contribute to this process through collaborations with the Coalition for Children’s Rights and with Dóchas, the Irish Association for non-Governmental Development Associations.
As members of the Coalition for Children’s Rights, we have put forward recommendations which will lead to the full realisation of children’s rights and child protection in updated Irish Foreign Policy. The submission recommends that improvements on the situation of children’s rights are included in both bilateral agreements and development programmes in close cooperation with Irish Aid partner countries. Meaningful participation by children and youth should be promoted in the evolution of youth needs globally. We also recommend the creation of the position of a Child Rights Advisor within the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Dóchas submission takes a broader view. ChildFund Ireland supports the position that the 2014 review of foreign policy should make clear that Ireland’s trade interests will operate in tandem with its strategic interest in international peace and stability, human rights and sustainable human development. Though Dóchas, we have highlighted the need for revised foreign policies to advance a rights-based approach which would help avoid discrimination against vulnerable members of society, including children and youth. Adopting a rights-based approach means that Irish foreign policy should be developed and implemented in as transparent a manner as possible, with citizen engagement on issues of national interest.
ChildFund Ireland hopes to see positive developments in the Department’s policies as they reflect on all of us and we look forward to future participation in policy reviews. You can read the full submissions by clicking on the links below –