Update on Policy Issues for those in Youth Work in Ireland 
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Policy Brief

Summer 2015

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Ireland will be examined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in January 2016. This is an important aspect of our countries commitment to children’s rights. The State compiles a report on its progress since the last hearings in 2006. The process also allows for NGOs to submit their views in a “shadow” report. In Ireland this process is co-ordinated by the Children’s Rights Alliance. The Alliance has also, in conjunction with UNICEF, consulted with children and young people about a separate report and young people involved will attend the hearing sin Geneva. This report is to be launched on June 10th

State Report
UNCRC Concluding Observations 2006


National Participation Strategy

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs on behalf of the Government is finalizing a children’s and young people’s participation strategy. The DCYA has led on this area by supporting Dail na nOg and Comhailre na nOg and other initiatives. The DCYA has also assisted in the organisation of student councils in the past, consultations on Better Outcomes Brighter Futures and issues like the reform of the Junior Cycle. This new strategy will mark the next phase of development in this important policy area and will be launched on June 17th

Dail na nOg
Consultation on Junior Cycle Reform


Recent Referendums

The two recent referendums saw mixed fortunes for the interests of young people in Ireland. Clearly a huge number of young people were motivated to register, vote and campaign on the issue of same sex marriage with a very successful conclusion. There is a challenge now to translate this activation in to other forms of political engagement. The outcome of the presidential age referendum was disappointing. Despite the complete absence of any campaign or leadership from the Government  the question was clear and with the apparent large turnout of young people the result could well be a setback for any political reform aimed at further engaging young people particularly issues like votes at 16

BelongTo Video
Youth Work Ireland Posters for the Presidential Age Campaign


Youth Unemployment  

In May there has been a change in the method of reporting unemployment to bring the Live register more in line with the Quarterly National Household Survey. In April there were 57,248 people between the ages of 18 and 25 unemployed in May 2015 representing a decrease of 1,201 in the month and 11,391 in the year. This continuing decline is clearly welcome but it is unclear that it is related to any changes in labour market policies. Emigration is also still unacceptably high and only measured annually. It is critical that dedicated programmes are provided for young people utilsing local youth services.

CSO Live Register
National Quarterly Household Survey

Irish Second Level Students Unuion

The Irish Second Level Students Union recently held its AGM electing a new leadership team. The second level students union is a truly youth led organisation working for the interests of young people at second level. The Union has been very active on issues like junior cert reform, the Irish language and technology in education. The Union has its own membership and discount scheme and is constantly on the lookout for new Student Councils

ISSU New Team
ISSU on School Closures

Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs 

On May 7th the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs held hearings on the publics perception of Europe. Youth Work Ireland's National Youth Action Group were one of the civil society groups to give evidence. The delgation consisted of Mairead Coady, Danielle Gayson and Rebecca Lambe. The representatoves highlighted the lack of interest in the EU amongst many young people and the need to avoide jargon in explainig the roel of the EU. 

Transcript of the hearings 
Video of the hearings 

Junior Cycle Reform 


It seems the logjam over the new Junior Cycle Student Assessment is to be finally broken. In essence the deal means, a revised final exam will be marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), Subject teachers will assess students’ progress through Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs), with one assessment event per subject in both second and third years. A written Assessment Task, based on the second CBA, will be completed in each subject in third year, marked by the SEC and form part of the overall exam result

Minister O’Sullivan’s Statement


Integration – Is it Working for Young People? 

More and more young people have come to Ireland from different countries or have parents who were not born here. Local youth services can often be the first point of contact for many of these. Youth Work Ireland is association with The Department of Justice and Dublin City Council organized an event in the Mansion House on March 21st on integration for young people. Over 60 people from around Ireland from various backgrounds attended with inputs from the New Communities Partnership, RTE and the Irish Second Level Students Union. A report is to be produced as soon as exam timetables allow!

Images of the day
Joanna Siewierska’s Article in The


Youth Work Ireland Political Briefing  

Youth Work Ireland Week is Youth Work Ireland’s celebration of local youth services run by local people all around Ireland. One of the highlights of the week is the political briefing which this year was attended by over 80 Oireachtas members. There were 3 “asks” for decision makers at the national level to publicly endorse a Yes Vote in the presidential candidates age referendum, for youth services to ensure the voluntary sector remains central to provision consistent with the 2001 Youth Work Act and from young people the need to support student councils and in time representation of young people on Boards of Management.

More on the Day


KDYS Launch

KDYS and Youth Work Ireland in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the Gardai, unveiled a new approach to tackling offending amongst young people in May. The new model of delivering Garda Youth Diversion Projects has been spearheaded in Kerry by KDYS. The new approach was showcased at an event in The Royal Irish Academy on May 13th and was launched by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD. The approach rolled out in Kerry emphasizes a county wide approach to working with young people at risk of offending and ensures an integrated approach to prevention with the local youth service at the core

Irish Independent Article
Youth Work Ireland Press Release


Reporting Racism Online  

ENAR Ireland’s iReport is a reporting system for the people, communities and organisations of Ireland to document racist incidents that are occurring nationwide. People bear witness to incidences of racism every day. Reporting the racist incidents will help ENAR Ireland, understand how often racist incidents occur in Ireland, understand in greater detail who is experiencing racism in Ireland and understand more about different kinds of racism in Ireland. The reports sent to ENAR Ireland are fully confidential. With permission they may contact those making reports for further details to help further understand the nature and context of the racist incident. They never hand over information unless compelled to do so by the law

Report Racist Incidents Online


Horizon 2020  

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme yet; one of the biggest publicly funded worldwide and has a budget of nearly €80 billion over seven years. Horizon 2020 has addressed itself to the challenges of age both old and young. The Young 4 2015 call has focused on meeting the challenges of the ageing population and a transformation into a more sustainable social and economic model, characterised by growing scarcity of resources, greater consideration for the natural environment, living under a shifting climate with uncertain consequences, and more gender equality, necessitates profound changes in the European society concerning our lifestyles, consumption patterns, the way we do business, develop our cities and design our homes, but also the way we build and govern our societies, forge intra- and intergenerational relations and organise our daily lives. Youth Work Ireland has joined a Europe wide dynamic partnership for this call

Horizon 202 Young 4 Call for Proposals


UN Youth Delegate   


The National Youth Council of Ireland, together with Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have announced the launch of the United Nations Youth Delegate Programme for Ireland in 2015 (UNYDP). This new UN Youth Delegate Programme for Ireland (UNYDP) will support two young people (one male and one female) aged between 18-25 years to join Ireland’s delegation to the United Nations in New York in September/October 2015. Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, June 5th 2015.
Contact for further information

Application Form

Smacking of Children 


A rights watchdog has found Ireland violated a European charter by not banning all corporal punishment, including smacking at home. Corporal punishment was banned in Irish schools in 1982 and, by 1996, it was a criminal offence to hit schoolchildren. However Ireland is one of the few European countries that does not ban physical punishment by parents. The Council of Europe made its ruling after a formal complaint from a UK-based charity. The Association for the Protection of All Children (Approach) lodged its complaint in February 2013 to the committee, which is part of the 47-nation Council of Europe. The charity alleged that Ireland had taken "no effective action" to remedy violation of Article 17 (the right of mothers and children to social and economic protection) of the European Social Charter by prohibiting all corporal punishment and other "cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children"
The Irish Times on the Ruling
The Children’s Rights Alliance Reaction


The Council of Europe European Youth Work Convention 


The 2nd European Youth Work Convention, five years after the first, brought together some 500 participants active in the youth work field. They listened to plenary speeches and presentations, took part in 24 working groups and 20 site visits that created the opportunity to look ‘under the hood’ at youth work practice that, for them, might be innovative and different, provoking more profound reflection on their own perspectives and practice.
This Declaration, prepared within the framework of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, is addressed to the Member States of the Council of Europe, the multilateral organisations (the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations), other European institutions, and political structures concerned with young people at national, regional and local level, the youth work field and young people themselves

The Declaration

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