Children working in the arts must be protected- Burton
Labour TD and spokesperson on the Arts, Joan Burton, has called on the Department of Justice, Minister for Arts and the Arts Council to ensure all those who work with children in the sector receive adequate Garda vetting.
People working in the sector and parents of children should be fully informed and advised of child protection guidelines, according to Deputy Burton who raised the issue in the Dáil today.
Deputy Burton said:
“A number of people working in film and theatre have raised concerns about the issue of the Garda vetting system in the industry when it comes to short-term arts projects.
“There are often four to five-day projects in TV and film, where it is virtually impossible to secure a vetting record at short notice.
“Given that there are productions where children are participants and in the audience, there is an obligation on the managers and producers to ensure children are protected.
“The problem that has been raised with me is how directors and producers discharge their duties under the Children First Act.
“I believe there is a need for a Garda Vetting Certificate for people working in the arts, so that organisations can be assured that children working in the arts are safe.
“While there are vetting guidelines in place under the National Children and Vulnerable Persons Act 2012, the Arts Council must ensure that all those who work with children are properly screened.
“People and companies in the industry, as well as the parents of children, must also be fully up to speed with the current requirements of child protection.”