Ben (17) addresses Euro Ombudsmen for Children
BRAY STUDENT Ben English, aged 17, was one of five young people who addressed the Ombudsmen for Children from all over Europe last Friday at the annual conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC).
The conference was held in Dublin for the first time and marked the start of Emily Logan’s tenure as Chair of the network. Emily is Ireland’s Ombudsman for Children.
Ben, who has been part of the Ombudsman for Children’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) since 2007, told conference delegates about his experiences of working with the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, and strongly recommended that children and young people should be given the opportunity to have their voices heard whenever possible.
‘ It is imperative to involve children in the early stages of all projects at an international level if we are going to make decisions that are in their best interests,’ said Ben.
The St. Brendan’s student, who is from Southern Cross, spoke last April at the European Parliament after winning the Rotary Ireland Youth Leadership Development competition.
In addition to providing a forum for the exchange of best practice, information and expertise, ENOC undertakes international level initiatives aimed at promoting the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These include active support for the establishment of a UN Special Representative on Violence Against Children and activities aimed at promoting the speedy implementation of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.