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Protecting Children Ann Hope School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Children’s Rights Alliance, Panel Discussion at.

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Presentation on theme: "Protecting Children Ann Hope School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Children’s Rights Alliance, Panel Discussion at."— Presentation transcript:

1 Protecting Children Ann Hope School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Children’s Rights Alliance, Panel Discussion at AGM, 13 May 2008

2 Young People’s alcohol use influenced by Normal maturational changes  Biological and cognitive Psychological changes  Independence and risk taking Social and cultural changes  Family, peers, social systems Environmental factors  Availability and appeal of alcohol

3 Harm from others

4 When parents get drunk, they hit out at their children instead of themselves Ida, age 7 Grown-ups like drinking because then they don’t think the world is as it is Miki, age 10 When the grown-ups drink, they get angry quicker than usual. And then it’s the children who suffer Jacob, age 8 If there wasn’t any beer or wine, then there wouldn’t be too many children who were unhappy Emil, age 10 They should say it on the news, that things don’t get any better because you drink Dorthea, age 8

5 Policy analysis

6 Government Alcohol ‘Talk’ : 8 Committees & 13 Reports 1990 Working Group on alcohol policy 1996 Oireachtas Committee on Licensing 1 Report 2000 Commission on Liquor Licensing 4 reports ( ) 2002 Strategic Task Force on Alcohol 2 reports 2002, 2004 Oireachtas Committees on Health & Arts, Sports etc Reports 2004,2006, Sustaining Progress Report Advisory Group on Alcohol Report 2008

7 Government – policy choices 1.No tax increase ( ) - Cheaper alcohol 2.Increased opening hrs, free movement of licences (2000) - Greater availability 3.Proposed law to reduce exposure of children to alcohol marketing - Approved legislation (2003) but shelved in (2005) 4.Increased tax on alcohol (2002/3) - D ecreased alcohol consumption 5.Abolished Groceries Order (2006) - Allowed below cost selling of alcohol 6.Introduced Mandatory Alcohol Testing (2006) - Reduced road deaths

8 Current Government policy Price Availability Marketing Drinking Driving Drinking Environment Community mobilisation Treatment –early intervention Education Cheaper alcohol More outlets, longer hrs Self-regulation Mandatory alcohol testing Little enforcement One project Still waiting for SBI Over-reliant

9 How and Why? We have not taken ownership of our problem Government policy choices have made the situation worse Government ignored the evidence in favour of vested interests Health and social services have different priorities, children can lose out Little capacity within communities to tackle alcohol problems

10 WHO European Charter on Alcohol “ All children and adolescents have the right to grow up in an environment protected from the negative consequences of alcohol consumption and, to the extent possible, from the promotion of alcoholic beverages” Ethical principle No 3; Adopted by 51 European Ministers of Health

11 Changes necessary Leadership – political, health and community Public support - it is not safe for children to drink Joined up thinking and action across government  We know what works (STFA)  Implementation plan –targets, timelines  Plan linked to other relevant issues  Management structure Health/social services need to screen for alcohol problems, prioritise and plan for children at risk Local authorities can do much more to help communities


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