Ombudsman for Children Act 2002

Function to promote rights and welfare of children.

7

7.—(1) The Ombudsman for Children shall promote the rights and welfare of children and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, he or she shall—

( a) advise the Minister or any other Minister of the Government, as may be appropriate, on the development and co-ordination of policy relating to children,

( b) encourage public bodies, schools and voluntary hospitals to develop policies, practices and procedures designed to promote the rights and welfare of children,

( c) collect and disseminate information on matters relating to the rights and welfare of children,

( d) promote awareness among members of the public (including children of such age or ages as he or she considers appropriate) of matters (including the principles and provisions of the Convention) relating to the rights and welfare of children and how those rights can be enforced,

( e) highlight issues relating to the rights and welfare of children that are of concern to children,

( f) exchange information and co-operate with the Ombudsman for Children (by whatever name called) of other states,

( g) monitor and review generally the operation of legislation concerning matters that relate to the rights and welfare of children, and

( h) monitor and review the operation of this Act and, whenever he or she thinks it necessary, make recommendations to the Minister or in a report under section 13(7) or both for amending this Act.

(2) ( a) The Ombudsman for Children shall establish structures to consult regularly with groups of children that he or she considers to be representative of children for the purposes of his or her functions under this section.

( b) In consultations under this subsection, the views of a child shall be given due weight in accordance with the age and understanding of the child.

(3) The Ombudsman for Children may undertake, promote or publish research into any matter relating to the rights and welfare of children.

(4) The Ombudsman for Children may, on his or her own initiative, and shall, at the request of the Minister or any other Minister of the Government, give advice to the Minister of the Government concerned on any matter (including the probable effect on children of the implementation of any proposals for legislation) relating to the rights and welfare of children.

(5) For the purposes of this section, persons under the age of 18 years who are enlisted members of the Defence Force shall not be regarded as children in any case where they are subject to military law under the Defence Forces Acts, 1954 to 1998.

(6) In this section “the Convention” means the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child done at New York on 20 November 1989, as amended by any protocol thereto that is for the time being in force in the State.