The Government has been accused of breaking its promises to children by failing to reform child protection laws.

CARI, which provides support to children, families and carers affected by sexual abuse, has also criticised the Government for failing to deliver a referendum on children's rights.

The foundation said it has come across too many children who have highlighted abuse but who are returned to unsafe situations.

CARI believes that unless children's rights are enshrined in the Constitution, the best interests of children at risk will not be adhered to.

Launching its annual report this morning, Children at Risk in Ireland said it is disappointed that none of the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Child Protection in 2006 have been implemented.

According to CARI's 2007 report, the foundation provided telephone support to over 1,500 callers last year, an increase of 22%.

The report also expresses concern about overtly sexual marketing ploys targeting children, which it says has blurred boundaries.

The foundation says that the increase in calls relating to sexual behaviour can be partially explained by the impact of such marketing.

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children John Moloney has reacted, saying that the Government is serious in its intent to hold a referendum on children's rights.

He said the Government would hear from the committee which has been consulting on the issue in November.

After that, the Government would set the wording and a date for the referendum, he said.