The Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children has said the Committee is to recommend that a referendum on the rights of the child be held.

Fianna Fáil TD Mary O'Rourke said a suggested wording for the referendum from children's charity Barnardos is being legally examined by advisors to the committee.

She said that there is a need for the referendum to give a ring of confidence to what is going to happen to protect children in the future.

Ms O'Rouke said she is anxious to bring about an era where those involved in child protection will feel confident doing the things they are doing.

She made the comments as she launched the 2008 annual report of the One in Four organisation.

Increase in demand for One in Four services

At that launch, the Director of One in Four said a surge in demand for its services following the publication of the Ryan report has put huge pressure on the service.

Maeve Lewis said requests for meeting with the Minister for Children to discuss funding concerns have not been met.

Ms Lewis criticised the Minister for failing to meet with the group to discuss emergency funding to help meet the increased demand.

The group catered for 500 additional clients in 2008, but since the Ryan report was published in May, 700 new clients have contacted the service.