So finally the date has been set, November 10th, a Saturday, and the wording has been announced.
Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution
PROPOSED NEW ARTICLE 42A
The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.
1° In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
2° Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.
Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.
1° Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings –
i brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or
ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,
the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
2° Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child
What does this mean?
It means that we are one step closer to being in line with the United Nations Convention of the rights of the child, which was written in 1989 and which we as a sovereign state signed up to in
1990 and ratified in 1992. The rights referred to in the amendment are those listed by in the
UN Convention of the rights of the child which are pretty extensive and you can read through it here.
This referendum and the tackling of the imbalance of the patronage system of schools are part of what has been needed to be done for the last 20 years but previous governments have failed to do them.
So make sure that you can vote by checking http://checktheregister.ie/ and remember that this referendum is on a Saturday November 10th, so no day of school for the kids and hopefully we will have a good turn out.