Local teens Ciaran Smith, Christopher O Sullivan and James Casserly along with teens from across Dublin last month took part in a national conference on children’s rights, which was attended by over 100 people from all over the country. Pieces of Us – What’s Next? was an event run by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and attended by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Pieces of Us is a report which highlights the voices of the 5,515 children who took part in a national online survey and 200 who participated in focus groups. It was presented to the UN Committee in 2022 by our Youth Advisory Panel and this event was an opportunity for children to have their say on what should happen next. Pieces of US – What’s Next was an event where 100 children got the chance to share their views on what the Government should now prioritise for children.
Jamal, Jimmy, Ciaran, Christopher, Mia, Toby and James all played an extremely important role as members of the OCO’s Youth Advisory Panel, gathering information from young people across Ireland on how they feel about living in Ireland and the changes they want to see. The OCO’s Youth Advisory Panel plays a vital role in the work of the OCO, advising about emerging issues and concerns for young people.
Speaking following the event, the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon commented “We were delighted to have our Youth Advisory Panel involved in this important children’s rights conference. They asked strong and challenging questions, particularly in relation to children’s mental health and how Ireland is ensuring that all children have equal opportunities.”
Dr Carmel Corrigan, OCO Head of Participation and Rights Education who led in coordinating the Pieces of Us report added “The Pieces of Us- What’s Next event was unique in that it gave a children’s perspective on the Concluding Observations of the UNCRC and the concerns that were raised. The children who worked on our Pieces of Us report were the heart and soul of the report- it was their voices and their insights, and so it’s important that they also have a say on what happens next.”
Pictured L-R: Caoimhe Cotter, Toby Murphy, Jimmy Ahmed, Ailís Malone, Niall Muldoon, Ciaran Smith, Mia Harding, James Casserly, Jamal Murray, Karolina Byrne, Proff Phillip D. Jaffé (Vice chair UN Committee on the Rights of the Child), Méabh Ní Churraidhín, Christopher O’Sullivan and Tim Grace Byrne.