World’s First LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy launched
Minister Zappone confirms funding for first actions
Young People to be ‘Visible, Valued, Included’
Friday 29th June 2018
Dr Katherine Zappone, TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, today launched the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020.
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. It can be accessed at: www.dcya.gov.ie
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 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.
The Strategy revolves around three main goals:
Goal 1: Create a Safe, Supportive and Inclusive Environment for LGBTI+ young people
Goal 2: Improve the Mental, Physical and Sexual Health and Wellbeing of the Entire LGBTI+ Community
Goal 3: Develop the Research and Data Environment to Better Understand the Lives of LGBTI+ Young People
15 objectives and 59 actions are contained within these goals, with the vast majority of Government Departments responsible for leading or assisting in delivering actions within the Strategy.
Actions cover a wide variety of areas such as schools, higher education institutions, health and social services, workplaces, youth services and the wider community.
For instance, the Department of Education and Skills will lead on a number of actions, including ensuring that LGBTI+ young people feel fully included in schools, reflecting LGBTI+ lives in the curriculum, and ensuring that LGBTI+ issues are considered for inclusion in SPHE and RSE programmes.
The Department of Justice and Equality will lead on actions concerning issues such as discrimination against LGBTI+ people; and the HSE will lead on a number of actions concerning sexual health services.
Launching the Strategy, Minister Zappone was keen to stress that it must achieve real results. She said her own Department will lead the way and confirmed an annual €400,000 to improve youth services and make them more LGBTI+ aware.
Minister Zappone added:
"Ireland has taken big steps in terms of equality. Decriminalisation, Marriage Equality and the Gender Recognition Act are huge positives, acknowledged by the young people we spoke to. But it is also clear more must be done.
No-one in this country should feel isolated, discriminated against or bullied – yet that is a reality for some younger members of our LGBTI+ Community.
As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs I can commit that this strategy contains real actions which go a long way to addressing these concerns. Every part of Government is whole-heartedly behind this effort.
We can be very proud that Ireland is the first country in the world to launch an LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy.
Our young people have spoken and we have listened."