Ben (17) ad­dresses Euro Om­buds­men for Chil­dren

Bray People - - Chinese Ambassador Visits St Cronan’s -

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.

Ben English

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