Aer Lingus child policy: may affect children´s participation
The Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr Brian Lenihan TD, declared that the decision of Aer Lingus to cease catering for unaccompanied child passengers could cause considerable hardship to many families in Ireland. ‘This was an invaluable service in cases where one parent works or lives outside of Ireland or where a child needed to travel unaccompanied for other family reasons’ stated the Minister.
The Minister also referred to the National Children´s Strategy and the importance placed on children´s participation in that strategy. “The first goal of the National Children´s Strategy states that children will have a voice in issues that concern them” said the Minister. “A central aspect of giving children a voice in the strategy is ensuring that children are provided with opportunities to participate in civic life” he continued.
“The lack of a service to unaccompanied child passengers could represent a narrowing of the opportunities for participation by children” added the Minister.
“However, I acknowledge the concerns of Aer Lingus in relation to child safety in a changing environment where airports are becoming more congested” stated Mr Lenihan.
“I have requested my colleague, Mr Seamus Brennan, Minister for Transport, to obtain a report from Aer Lingus on the matter” concluded the Minister.