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Press Release

Minister Zappone publishes the Mid-Term Review and Phase Two Action Plan of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making 2015 – 2020

Published: 3 October 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone today published the Mid-Term Review and Phase Two Action Plan of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making 2015 – 2020.

Ireland has become a global leader in meeting its commitments under Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with the National Strategy for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision making. This Strategy contains actions for all government departments and Agencies who provide, or oversee services, which have an impact on children and young people, to ensure that their voices are heard and influence decisions of relevance to their lives.

At the time of publication in 2015, an action plan was published to direct implementation of the Strategy over the first three-year period. Since 2015 three annual implementation reports have been compiled and published.

In 2019, DCYA undertook a review of implementation and worked across government to develop a Phase Two implementation plan for the remaining period of the Strategy. The aim of this Mid-Term Review and Phase Two Action Plan is to update the Strategy to reflect the progress already made by departments and Agencies and iterate the actions to reflect new initiatives and practices across sectors.

The Mid-Term Review and Phase Two Action Plan will also reflect the current context of support available to departments and Agencies through Hub na nÓg, the centre of excellence for the participation of children and young people in decision-making and outline some examples of government agencies who have made strong progress in ensuring the voices of children and young people are central to decision-making processes in their organisations.

Minister Zappone said:

"I am delighted to publish this review and Phase Two Action Plan of the Participation Strategy. Much progress has been made in how government departments and agencies include children and young people’s voices in decision-making. We continue to be ambitious in our vision to become one of the best small countries in the world in which to grow up and central to that vision is ensuring children’s voices are heard in all the spaces and places where they live their lives.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Mid-Term Review and Phase Two Action Plan of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making, 2015-2020

Ireland is the first country in Europe (and possibly the world) to have developed a cross-government National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making 2015-2020 .

This Strategy was launched in June 2015, and is a constituent of Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020 . The strategy is guided and influenced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Strategy is mainly aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, but also takes on board the voice of young people in their transition into adulthood. The Strategy is mainly aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, but also takes on board the voice of young people in their transition into adulthood.

The Strategy builds on the infrastructure for children’s participation already established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs through the Comhairle na nÓg and Local Authority structures. This cross-government action plan strengthens the voice of children and young people in their local communities, in formal and informal education settings, in health and social services and in the national context of government decision-making.

The seven priority objectives of the Strategy are that children and young people will have a voice in decisions:

  • in their local communities
  • in early education, schools and the wider formal and non-formal education systems
  • in decisions that affect their health and well-being, including on the health and social services delivered to them
  • in the courts and legal system

Additionally:

  • the voice of children and young people in government decision-making and the development of policy, legislation and research will be embedded
  • effective leadership to champion and promote participation of children and young people will be promoted
  • education and training for professionals working with and on behalf of children and young people will be developed

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Dáil Éireann and, to honour the occasion, Dáil na nÓg will take place in the Houses of the Oireachtas, highlighting the importance of young people’s voices on the national platform, not just as the decision-makers of tomorrow, but as citizens of today.

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