Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Social issues

Publication Details

Child Care in Practice, 16: 4, 327 — 346, 2010.


Ireland’s second periodic report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) presents the government’s case that it is succeeding in protecting and promoting the rights of all children in Ireland. This article presents a critical discourse analysis of the governments Report to the CRC. Using a refined critical discourse analysis (CDA) model, based on the framework proposed by Chouliaraki & Fairclough (1999); the linguistic structure of the Report is examined alongside consideration of the wider socio-political context in which it exists. The Report is itself a promotional genre . It lists legislative change, strategy plans and other policy activity intended to have an impact on children’s rights. This promotional genre is realised in the Report through drawing on the language necessary to sell the government as successful in implementation of the Convention, to the CRC. Through adherence to the structured language of reporting, in tandem with the careful positioning of paragraphs, the report serves to circumvent the absences of legislation and provisions which directly influence and impact on children’s rights. Thus, the analysis reported in this article confirms the view that much of the discourse is rhetorical. Nevertheless, the Report generally represents the government as progressing in the field of implementation of the UNCRC. This has led to an assumption that the reporting mechanisms of the CRC may allow for such rhetorical construction of reports, thus a brief linguistic textual analysis of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child guidelines for periodic reports is included to reveal if there is a case for this assumption.