Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has called on the Government to fully implement the key findings of the 10th report by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Professor Geoffrey Shannon.

“I welcome the publication of this report, which truly puts the interests and the voice of the child at its centre. It should be mandatory reading for all legislators, as it sheds a light on some of the most significant gaps in our child protection system”, said Deputy Rabbitte.

“There are many striking findings in this report, but I am most taken by the recommendation that a so-called “Fagin’s Law” should be introduced to make it a criminal offence for adults to pressure or coax children into committing offences.

“This is a penalty that has been introduced in the Australian state of Victoria with considerable success.

“I know from my own experience as a public representative that this type of exploitation is an all too common practice, whether it is a father sending his son out to pickpocket or an adult forcing a child to carry drugs.

“As legislators, we have a responsibility to give children the best possible start in life and by turning a blind eye to these practices we are failing in our duty to do that.  I and my party will be bringing forward legislation to put Professor Shannon’s recommendation into action and make it a criminal offence to groom children for criminal offences”.