LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy
Dr Katherine Zappone, TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, launched the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020 on 29th June 2018. (LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy)
The Strategy is a first for Ireland and for the world and is informed by the views of thousands of young people and by those who work with them and on their behalf. The Strategy's Youth Advisory Group, which consists of 14 committed young people who contributed to the development of the Strategy, also created a youth friendly version of the Strategy in the form of a video. This can be found on the Strategy's Facebook page: facebook.com/National-Lgbti-Youth-Strategy-Ireland
A written summary of the Strategy is also available: (Summary)
This is a three-year action-oriented Strategy and its Mission is to ensure that all LGBTI+ young people are visible, valued and included. It guarantees a cross-governmental approach to put additional measures in place to further enhance the lives of LGBTI+ young people and address some of the key challenges they may face as part of their day-to-day lives. The Strategy will make a significant contribution towards the Government's broader commitment to continue to strive for the full inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Irish society and to build a more inclusive Ireland.
Background to the National LGBTI+ Youth Strategy
The development of the LGBTI+ Youth Strategy is a key commitment for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in the Programme for Government (2016) and also makes a contribution towards the Government’s broader commitment to continue to strive for full inclusion of LGBTI+ people in Ireland.
An oversight committee, independently chaired by Una Mullally, has been established to oversee the development of the strategy. This committee comprises of representatives from government departments, LGBTI+ advocacy organisations and others with expertise relevant to the development of the strategy.
In addition a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) was also established in order to ensure that young people remain at the heart of the strategic planning process. Three members of the YAG were appointed as members of the Oversight Committe. The YAG provided critical insight into the strategic planning process from the perspective of young people in Ireland.
Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 provides a framework around which the strategy will be developed. There are five national outcomes identified in this framework for children and young people and they:
- are active and healthy, with positive physical and mental wellbeing.
- are achieving their full potential in all areas of learning and development.
- are safe and protected from harm.
- have economic security and opportunity.
- are connected, respected and contributing to their world.
The National Youth Strategy published in 2015 identifies LGBT young people as a specific group to be considered in the context of focused provision for marginalised young people. It is important to the development of the strategy that the voices and the experiences of young people are front and centre in forming the strategy – and the consultation phase will be a key part of this work.
An extensive consultation process was completed during the development of the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy. This consultation involved significant engagement with young people and other key stakeholders.
- Youth Consultation:
The consultation process reached almost 4,000 young people through a combination of 1) an online survey run by SpunOut.ie and 2) attendance at seven youth consultation events held across the country, in Dublin (two events), Sligo, Dundalk, Galway, Waterford and Cork. The Youth Consultation Report was launched on 9th December 2017.
The Youth Advisory Group for the Strategy also worked on a youth version of the report in the form of a video, which was launched on the same day. This video can also be found on the Strategy Facebook page.
- Stakeholder Consultation and Open Call:
Other key stakeholders were engaged through a combination of group consultations and written submissions. Approximately 90 representatives from Government Departments, state agencies, sporting organisations, education bodies, mental health organisations, youth organisations and LGBTI+ organisations attended a major consultation event held in Farmleigh House in June 2017. A further 34 organisations made written submissions to the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy.
Ongoing consultation and engagement with both the Oversight Committee and the Youth Advisory Group also played a key role in the strategy development process.
A detailed review was undertaken of the LGBTI+ related research both nationally and internationally. The purpose of this review was to gain an understanding of the LGBTI+ environment and the challenges that exist within it. The review included research related to LGBTI+ people of all ages, but had a specific focus on young people where such information was available. The review was undertaken in the period from May to July 2017.