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Child poverty must be tackled as a human rights issue with legal implications rather than from a charitable perspective, the Government’s most senior adviser on children’s rights has said.

Prof Geoffrey Shannon, special rapporteur on child protection, said “direct provision should be abolished”, accommodating homeless families with children in hotels needs to end, and “more imaginative” sanctions than prison or detention are required to stop child offenders drifting into adult lives marked by imprisonment.

In his 182-page report to Government, Prof Shannon makes 97 recommendations on addressing the rights of children.

While he commends Ireland’s role in embedding human rights principles in efforts to eliminate poverty overseas, he says efforts are “somewhat in contrast… at home where child poverty is at a high level and the austerity measures drafted and implemented by Irish authorities disproportionately affect children”.

He said: “Measures to tackle child poverty are not human-rights based” in Ireland and the United Nations, he added, is “urging Ireland to change practice in this regard”.

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source: The Irish Times
published: 18 November 2016

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