Alienated Children First welcome the opportunity to participate in the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child review of Ireland to the reply to the State’s Party response by Ireland.
This submission is part of the process for NGOs to make short submissions based on recent developments prior to the Full Session reporting on Ireland in January 2023 in Geneva.
This submission brings to the attention on the Committee further delays in the publication of the Department of Justice’s 2021 research on parental alienation and it Open Consultation on the subject in 2022, potential absence from the draft Family Court Bill 2022 in dealing with parent and child victims in high conflict separations, the knock on effect of these delays in publication and regulation on child support and social welfare services and in particular discriminatory language used in government “child friendly” publications regarding the “zero Tolerance” strategy for domestic violence.
ACF provide peer to peer support and advocacy for parents and child victims of parental alienation through lobbying on their behalf and producing and promoting support materials for child care, legal, health, education and other professionals and families to assist with awareness to tackle this form of child abuse and intimate partner violence.
Our objectives are that the policy, principles and supports will be put in place to address this form of child abuse and give it the importance it requires and that the victims deserve.
Professionals and policy makers need to be properly informed and qualified to recognize and deal with this form of abuse and to support courts in ensuring the genuine, authentic and unmanipulated ‘voice of the child’ and true best interests of the child is central to all family law proceedings and related matters, including policy and procedures of statutory bodies and NGOs.
The children of Ireland deserve their rights be protected to the best of our abilities. The European Court of Human Rights has reminded states of their “positive obligations” to protect rights in cases of parental alienation.
ACF recognize that Ireland, and in particular the Department of Justice, have in the last two years taken substantial steps recognizing and researching parental alienation. However this progress is very recent and Ireland is significantly behind other states in supporting such victims and as yet has implemented no legislation, policies or procedures to recognize, deal with and support such victims.
This submission asks that we take this opportunity to include measures to protect children’s welfare and rights in family separation, particularly high conflict separation, and focuses particularly on how to address the plight of child and parent victims of parental alienation.