A new initiative aims to make children and their families aware of their legal rights.
The Children’s Rights Alliance has teamed up with Community Law and Mediation to offer free legal advice through nationwide outreach clinics, alongside an information hotline.
The Access to Justice Initiative will also offer specialist clinics focusing on areas such as disability and children in care.
Legal and Policy Director with the Children’s Rights Alliance, Saoirse Brady, says the service is there for all types of queries: 'One of the common things we get asked is about a child's right to have their voice heard in court proceedings, one of the other big areas that we have is around education, so if a child is suspended from school, how can they appeal that'.
The Children's Rights Alliance is calling for free civil legal aid to be made available to children. It says it will collate all of the queries over the next three years, with the aim of making a case for free legal aid.
Chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance Tanya Ward says: “Children have many rights under Irish law but despite this, many continue to be discriminated against or may find their rights are not being respected.
“We want to make sure that children, young people and families that need it have access to free legal advice, be that over the phone or through our free legal advice clinics. We want to make this available to any child regardless of their status, situation or location around the country.”