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Ireland passes Children's Referendum

Nov. 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Ireland has voted in favor of a children's rights referendum, which Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald called "historic ... for the protection of children."

The measure, which removes an existing article of Ireland's Constitution and replaces it with another to better ensure the rights of children throughout the country, was passed Saturday by a margin of 58 percent in favor versus 42 percent against, The Sunday Independent reported.

Fitzgerald welcomed the yes vote, saying Saturday was a "historic day for the protection of children in Ireland."

"I'm delighted they have supported this," she said, referring to voters.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny said: "I welcome the positive result of the Children's Referendum. It is a historic day for the children of Ireland as it is the first time the Constitution of this Republic will recognize them as citizens in their own right."

"I thank the Irish people for exercising their democratic right to vote and I would also like to thank the various organizations that campaigned for a yes vote," the taoiseach said. "This government has a deep commitment to families and children. The passing of this amendment will help make childhood a good, secure and loving space for all our children. It will also give hope, reassurance and confidence to parents, foster parents and vulnerable children."

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