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Play & Rights

Photo of three boys huggingReflecting the important role of play in children’s lives a number of steps have been taken to ensure play features on the political agenda both in Ireland and internationally.

In 1990 Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights. One of the rights children have under the convention is the right to play. Article 31.1 says: “State Parties recognize the right of the child to…engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child…”.  If you would like to find out more about the UN Convention on Children’s Rights contact the Children’s Rights Alliance.

National Policy

Illustration of IrelandIn 2004 theMinister for Children and Youth Affairs published Ready, Steady, Play! A National Play Policy.  The policy looks at developing a play infrastructure and aims to improve the quality and safety of playgrounds and play facilities. In 2012 theDublin City PlayPlan was published by the Dublin City Development Board.

Under the national policy each City and County Development Board (CBD) has to include a commitment to play in their County Development Plan.

The national play policy also suggests communities will be made more ‘child-friendly’, and that “children will be given a voice in the design and implementation of play policies and facilities”.

Local Play Policies

Under the National Play Policy published in 2004, all City and County Development Boards are obliged to put together a play plan.  It says, “The County Play Plan will be developed through consultation with communities and children in the Community Forum and Comhairle na nÓg”.

Photo of a little boy on a climbing frameThe City and County Development Boards (CDBs) are a grouping of organisations such as the local authority, trade unions, health boards, etc, which put together development strategies.

Does your local authority have a good play policy?  You may also consider putting together a community play policy to submit to the local authority. Contact us for information on community play policies.