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UN rights expert urges Ireland to establish greater child sexual violence protection, redress past abuse

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio [official website] on Monday urged [press release] Ireland to include a national strategy to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children.

"I recognise the considerable progress made by Ireland in passing laws which strengthen protection against child marriage, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, including through the use of Information and Communications Technology. However, more remains to be done," de Boer-Buquicchio said, highlighting for example, only one sexual assault treatment center for children across the country, burdening some to travel long distances to seek specialized treatment or forensic examination.

De Boer-Buquicchio highlighted Ireland's history regarding sexual abuse and called for justice and redress for those who suffered, specifically citing Magdalen Laundries. While she hailed new "Government proposals to invest in early intervention and preventive child protection," as well as a collaborative approach between the government and internet service providers to combat abuse in modern technologies, "she urged the Irish authorities to shine a brighter light on abuses of the past," the report said.

"The so-called historic abuses against children that took place in Magdalene laundries, mother and baby homes and industrial schools, among other settings, have a direct bearing on the Ireland of today. More remains to be done to provide sufficient information, justice and redress to those who suffered child sexual abuse and forced labour, or who were victims of illegal adoptions during dark periods of Irish history," said de Boer-Buquicchio.

The Special Rapporteur also noted particularly vulnerable populations, including those with disabilities, those in care, Roma and Traveller communities, child migrants and those from particular ethnic groups.

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