Child and Youth Participation
The role of the Citizen Participation Unit
The Department Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) has a dedicated Citizen Participation Unit. The role of the Unit is to ensure that children and young people have a voice in the design, delivery and monitoring of services and policies that affect their lives, at national and local level. It collaborates in this with other Government Departments, statutory bodies and non-government organisations.
The work of the Citizen Participation Unit is guided by Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and is directed by the belief that children and young people are the citizens of today and not just the adults of tomorrow.
The work of the Unit is undertaken through:
- The development of effective structures for children’s participation in decision-making
- conducting consultations and dialogues with children and young people
- the development of evidence-based policy in keeping with national and international best practice.
The DCYA Citizen Participation Unit is committed to ensuring the inclusion of seldom-heard children and young people in participation structures and initiatives.
Structures for children and young people’s participation in decision-making
In the last ten years, the Citizen Participation Unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has strengthened the following key structures:
- Comhairle na nÓg (local youth councils)
- Dáil na nÓg (national youth parliament)
- The children and young people's participation support team