NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley today called on Government to implement recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The commissioner said the influential committee had confirmed what most people already knew – services for children are not good enough.
In a set of Concluding Observations and Recommendations published today the committee has recommended Government improve services and enhance the rights of children in Northern Ireland.
“Children who are in most need are not getting the right services at the right time,” said Ms Lewsley. “This means that children in need of mental health services, who are disabled, or who are suffering poverty, are discriminated against in Northern Ireland.
“This has today been recognised and acknowledged by the United Nations Committee.
“It is now up to Government to act on my concerns, the concerns of the UN and many, many others to enhance, promote and safeguard children’s rights.”
The commissioner said the reaction and her condemnation of insufficient action on children’s mental health needs has been reinforced by the UN Committee’s recommendations.
“Earlier today I, and others, criticised the Department of Health’s response to the recommendations of the Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability. My criticisms are backed by the concerns of members of this influential United Nations committee.
“I will be monitoring Government’s response to these recommendations and I will shortly be asking Government during a forthcoming meeting with Ministers what plans it has in place to address the issues raised.”
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