The Irish Regional Service Committee (IRSC) took on the task of assessing whether our fellowship must abide by Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. This came after concerns were raised by a number of members from different Areas.
The assessment was carried out over a 3 month period from September 2014 to January 2015 by the IRSC Public Relations Subcommittee. It was led by a member who has professional skills and experience in the fields of youth work and social policy.
After analysing the guidelines as set out by the Irish government and the HSE, legal advice was sought from a professional barrister. We also consulted AA on their experience with the guidelines.
After considering this information, including the guidance of the Traditions, it is the opinion of the IRSC that Narcotics Anonymous groups in the Irish region are not legally obliged to adopt these guidelines as they do not deal specifically with children or individuals under the age of eighteen. While anyone of any age is welcome at an NA meeting, NA groups do not specifically work with young people.
This statement is meant as a point of information for NA groups within the Irish region. The IRSC does not represent or speak for these groups. It has gathered this information for groups in response to requests for information from members. It does not affect an individual’s relationship with the law.