A Yes vote on Saturday in the Children’s Referendum will lead to better child protection and improve the family law system by ensuring the courts make more ‘child-centered’ decisions.
This is the view of the Galway Council of Trade Unions which is urging its members to support the referendum. Trades council president Tom Browne said there were four main reasons to vote yes.
“For the first time, the Constitution will take a child-centered approach to the protection of all children and allow the State to better support struggling families, rather than waiting for difficulties to reach crisis point,” he said.
“Secondly, by passing the amendment the possibility of adoption will be extended to a significant number of the 2,000 children currently in long-term State care who will then be given a second chance in a stable and permanent family.”
He added that decisions on child protection, care, adoption, guardianship, custody, and access matters will be improved by making it mandatory to take into account the best interests of the child concerned and requiring judges to listen to the views of children when deciding such cases.
Mr Browne said the fourth reason to vote Yes was that it will be “a positive statement of how Ireland views and values children”.
He is also encouraging Galwegians to turn out in numbers on polling day as it “would send a positive signal that children matter and that child law reforms must continue”.