Ireland votes to strengthen children's rights
DUBLIN -- Official returns show that voters have approved with a narrower-than-expected 57.4 percent "yes" vote an amendment to insert stronger rights for children into Ireland's constitution.
Only a third of registered voters participated in Saturday's referendum, reflecting a low-key campaign. All political parties and children's charities supported the "yes" side.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny said yesterday the amendment will allow his government to pass laws making it easier for Irish children to be adopted, for courts to remove children from abusive homes, and for children to testify in court.
Analysts say the unexpectedly high "no" vote reflects low turnout among "yes" voters, anti-government feeling, and a surprise Supreme Court ruling. Ireland's highest court found that the government's information booklet on the children's rights amendment was biased and violated referendum law. -- AP