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Barnardos urges Government not to abandon children's referendum

Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos, has claimed that “a Constitutional referendum is urgently needed” to protect children. In a statement, he said he was dismayed by signals from the Government indicating that they were backing away from holding such a referendum on the issue of “children's rights”.

02/09/08
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Cardinal questions secularist agenda of EU

The “ prevailing culture and social agenda” being pursued by the EU appears to be predominantly secular and hostile to religion, according to the Catholic Primate of Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady.

26/08/08
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EU human rights body proposes mandatory recognition of same-sex unions

A newly created EU human rights body, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), has called for binding EU regulations to force member states to legalise same-sex marriage.

22/08/08
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Pensioners now outnumber children in UK

Pensioners outnumber children in the UK for the first time as more and more people live longer, according to new figures.

22/08/08
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UK parents face child care crisis, as thousands leave profession

Parents in the UK are facing a severe shortage of childminders after bureaucracy prompted thousands to abandon the profession. According to new Government figures, more than 8,000 people have given up offering child care in England in just four years, more than a tenth of the total.

21/08/08
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Bigger families are happier, healthier, says new report

Children from bigger families are happier, healthier and more successful, according to a new report from British think tank Civitas. The study also suggests that the middle-classes are made to feel that large families impact negatively on the environment and damage their careers.

21/08/08
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Forty per cent of married women with dependent children work in home

Forty per cent of married women with dependent children stay at home to look after them, according to new labour force figures from the CSO.

20/08/08
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INTO, Fine Gael clash over school “segregation” proposal

The INTO have described calls by Fine Gael for immigrants to be separated from other students until they can speak English as 'discriminatory, inequitable and deeply flawed'. They have also suggested that the proposal could be challenged legally.

19/08/08
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IVF criticised in leading Church journal.

An article in next month's Intercom magazine has condemned the “uncontrolled use of AHR [Assisted Human Reproductive] technology” saying that this could “lead to unforeseeable consequences for civil society”.

19/08/08
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London “divorce capital of the world”, says lawyer

London has been dubbed “the divorce capital of the world”, according to one leading UK family lawyer. The city is awarded the title because England is thought to be “the best divorce jurisdiction” for foreign claimants, according to James Turner, QC, a counsel involved in top family law cases.

Speaking to the London Times, Mr Turner said: “More foreign claimants than ever are ‘forum shopping’ for the best divorce jurisdiction — and that tends to be England.” It is believed that trend began in 2000, when the House of Lords ruled that marital assets should be split equally.

According to the report in the Times, divorce courts in the UK capital are seeing a flood of foreign business. Wives are learning that the best way to glean an extra million or so from a rich husband is to try their luck in England.

“I’m aware of cases where wives have tricked their husbands into living in the UK for a few months and then sprung divorce proceedings on them,” Mr Turner told The Times. “It also helps that prenuptial agreements are not binding in this country.”

Some countries, such as Russia, let rich husbands hide their wealth in trusts and companies. English courts look at all marital assets before dividing the wealth. “Oligarchs are now worried that their wives may start divorce proceedings over here.”

An example of this cited by the Times is the recent divorce of rock star Phil Collins, who was obliged to pay his third wife, Swiss woman Orianne Cevey, £25 million as a divorce payment.

A few countries are prepared to apply English divorce law in their own courts — so long as one of the parties is from there. these included Switzerland, where Ms Cevey was born.

The size of this settlement prompted divorce lawyers to wonder why, given what happened to him before, Collins did not seek a pre-nuptial agreement.

He met Ms Cevey in 1994, when she was working as a translator. They married in 1999 and set up home near Geneva. The couple, who have two children, announced their split in 2006, stating that they had “grown apart”.

19/08/08

Dutch authorities give de facto recognition to polygamous marriages

Dutch authorities are now giving de facto recognition to polygamous marriages, according to a report in Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad. Although polygamy is banned in the Netherlands, the marriages of Muslims who have several wives are recognised by Dutch authorities.

19/08/08
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Leading IVF expert says fertility clinics driven by profit

Professor Robert Winston, one of the UK's top IVF experts, has said that fertility clinics are ignoring a more successful fertility treatment in favour of IVF for commercial reasons.

15/08/08
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No Government directive on hijab: Minister

The Government will not issue a directive to schools on the wearing of the Islamic hijab headscarf in schools, according to Minister of State for Integration Conor Lenihan. Mr Lenihan said that the wearing of the headscarf was “not an issue” in most schools.

15/08/08
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Department of Education reacts to criticisms by Bishop

The Department of Education said it would "consider" criticisms made yesterday by Chair of the Bishops' Commission on Education, Bishop Leo O'Reilly of the Department's claimed policy preference for multi-denominational education.

14/08/08
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Bishop cites Iona poll to bolster parental choice argument

The Chair of the Bishops' Commission on Education, Dr Leo O'Reilly, has said the principle of parental choice must be central to education provision. Citing a poll conducted on behalf of the Iona Institute, he said that parents were overwhelmingly in favour of having the right to choose denominational education.

13/08/08
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Government planning children's rights through legislation

The Government is now looking at using legislation rather than a referendum to address concerns relating to children's rights, according to Minister for State for Children, Barry Andrews. In an interview with the Irish Times, the Minister indicated that he believed that issues such as the best interest of the child could be addressed through legislation.

13/08/08
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New schemes proposed for lone parents

Parents in receipt of the Lone Parent Allowance will be assigned welfare advisers within months of the birth of their children to help direct them towards training, education and work opportunities, under a new Government scheme.

12/08/08
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Labour MP tables motion targets religious conscience

A Labour MP has tabled a motion in Parliament that would eliminate the freedom of religious conscience of public servants. The move comes in the wake of a ruling last month in which a Christian marriage registrar who refused to carry out homosexual marriages was found to have been discriminated against on the grounds of religion.

12/08/08
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Irish women heading to European clinics for IVF treatment

Hundreds of Irishwomen are travelling to clinics across the Continent to receive IVF treatment using eggs donated from young European women.

12/08/08
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Link between TV and child behaviour problems: study

Children who watch more than three hours of television a day have more behaviour problems than other children, according to a new study.

07/08/08
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.