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Children's Rights Alliance. (2014) Report card 2014. Dublin: Children's Rights Alliance.

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Our Annual Report Card, in its sixth edition, scrutinises the Government on its key commitments to children in the Programme for Government. Graded by an independent panel of experts, the Government receives an overall C this year, reflecting improvements in the areas of children’s constitutional rights, education and protection from abuse and neglect. However serious problems still remain in health, the right to adequate standard of living and protection from discrimination, leaving many children behind.

P.64  3.3 Alcohol and Drugs - Grade D+
Government commitment
The Programme for Government commits to ensuring that every Government department, agency or task force responsible for implementing elements of the National Addiction Strategy will be required to account to the Minister for their budget annually and to demonstrate progress on achieving targets.
Progress – slow
 
P.69 Children’s Rights Alliance: Immediate Actions for 2014
·         Urgently adopt a national strategy to tackle alcohol misuse and ensure it is coherent with the Interim National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016
There should be a clear focus on the impact of alcohol and drugs on children, including reducing children’s access to alcohol and drugs; curbing the widespread availability of cheap alcohol; restricting the promotion of alcohol; raising awareness of the potential harmful effects of alcohol and drugs and developing youth appropriate addiction treatment services. It must also address harmful parental drinking and its impact on children. The Strategy must be accompanied by a clear plan, with targets, timeframes and accountability structures.
 
·         The working group set up to look at the regulation of sports sponsorship should revisit the proposal to introduce a legislative ban to protect children from alcohol marketing in line with the National Substance Misuse Strategy.
The proposal to introduce a legislative ban on alcohol marketing was an immediate action of Report Cards 2013, 2012 and 2011 and remains unaddressed. The report of the working group due later in 2014 presents another opportunity to examine this issue.
 
·         Sustain investment in alcohol and drug free space for young people.
Adequate provision of alcohol- and drug-free spaces for young people in their communities is key to ensuring we create an alternative to the ‘pub culture’.
 
·         Protect children from smoking.
Enact the Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke Bill 2012 without delay. Also put in place the legislation to standardise cigarette packaging. Priority should be given to working towards A Tobacco Free Ireland 2025 goals. 

 

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