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Children’s Rights Alliance: Campaigning on Child Poverty Event

Children’s Rights Alliance: Child Poverty Event

July 31, 2019

As part of our advocacy and campaigning work, Early Childhood Ireland’s Policy Officer Ronan Kennedy attended an event organised by the Children’s Rights Alliance on 24 July. The event focused on how organisations involved in child welfare can mobilise most effectively around the issue of eradicating childhood poverty. Central to this is the No Child 2020 campaign. This saw the Children’s Rights Alliance partner with the Irish Times for a series of articles focused on highlighting the impacts of childhood poverty, and which sought to spark a national conversation on the subject.

This series of articles informed the Children’s Rights Alliance’s local and European election campaign “No Child 2020” pledge asking candidates to pledge to work towards eradicating child poverty. The asks in this pledge were based on the programme for the first Dáil in 1919, which stated that:

“It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to… secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens…”

There is an ongoing discussion on how best this campaign can continue given the strong possibility of a general election in the near future. Early Childhood Ireland will be considering how best we can contribute to this campaign when a decision is made on its future.

A presentation was also made on the importance of language and the framing of child poverty. The Children’s Rights Alliance have carried out an extensive piece of research on public attitudes to childhood poverty in Ireland and how it is conceptualised by the general public. This research may prove to be very useful in how we present certain aspects of our own campaigning work in the future, as particular types of language on child poverty are proven to be more impactful than others.

The Joseph Rowntree Trust in the UK have carried out similar work on this topic. You can access its framing toolkit by clicking here.

Finally, there was an interesting presentation from the Mercy Law Centre on a case it and the Children’s Rights Alliance are working on. It seeks to bring a collective complaint under the European Social Charter on family homelessness. It will argue that the treatment of homeless families is in breach of government’s obligations to children and families under the charter. We will be considering how best we can support the Mercy Law Centre in this work.

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