Hands up for children
ReachOut Ireland is part of a coalition of almost 30 organisations launching a new campaign calling for children to be an election priority.
The Hands up for Children campaign is calling for preventative and early interventions for children and families to be a priority for the newly elected government.
As part of the campaign, we’re asking political parties and independent candidates to adopt five Thriving Childhood Principles. These principles set out a case for increased focus in early intervention instead of crisis. We’re also encouraging individuals to ask candidates canvassing their doors to adopt these principles.
Making the commitment to children
Hands up for Children Chairperson Marian Quinn said decision makers have choices and can commit to children: “Looking after our children, or not, is a policy decision – simple as that. And to date, our Government has chosen not to see our future generation as a core priority.
“The Hands Up for Children campaign, being launched today, is a coalition of organisations who are calling for politicians and policy makers move away from crisis driven responses, to an incremental realignment towards a prevention and early intervention focus.”
Social Justice Campaigner John Lonergan speaking at the launch, demanded we all become activists to demand the new government honour the commitments pledged in the 2012 Children’s Referendum by investing in children and families in the right way and at the right time.
The launch was also addressed by the Tusla Chairperson, Norah Gibbons and Children’s Right Alliance Chief Executive, Tanya Ward.
Facts n’ figures
- Ireland invests 0.4% of GDP in early years services, well below the OECD average of 0.7%
- 12% of Irish children and living in consistent poverty, 18% are at risk of poverty
- By 13 years-old, one in three Irish children will have experienced a mental health difficulty
- 15-20% of Irish nine year-olds experience significant emotional and behavioural problems.