Northern Ireland: children’s rights harmed by failing public services

07 September 2018

Systemic failures in education, poverty and mental health have been highlighted by Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland commissioner for children and young people.


In her inaugural Statement on children’s rights in Northern Ireland, which assesses the performance of government and their statutory agencies in vital areas of children’s lives, she found resources had not been used efficiently, finding little evidence of ‘value for money’ in education.

She said that children with special educational needs were ‘not being identified early enough’ and have to wait too long to be assessed.

Children remain the most likely age group to be in poverty, which has an adverse impact on their educational achievement, mental and physical health.

She also looked at the issue of mental health, criticising the ‘unacceptably low’ 8% of the mental health budget allocated to children and young people.