22 Mar 2011

Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today said she will be asking for an explanation as to why children and young people have been pictured allegedly carrying replica weapons.

The Commissioner said that it is deeply worrying to see children pictured in this way, and more worrying that the pictures have appeared on the internet.

“I am concerned by the fact that children and young people have been pictured holding what appears to be replica weapons and dressed in such a way as to seem to mimic paramilitaries.

“Parents and responsible adults must protect children and young people and parents and responsible adults must keep them safe.

“I will be contacting the Tí Chulainn Centre, the Special EU Programmes Body and the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister for an explanation.

“My job is to hold Government and organisations to account over their actions. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Government has signed, states there is a clear duty to protect children from getting into vulnerable situations such as this”.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • More information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found here on the web site
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children and Young People was ratified by the UK Government in 1991. Articles 19 and 36 apply in matters such as this.

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