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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.1 Target population of youth policy

Last update: 27 March 2024

Age group defined as ‘youth’

Different youth policies in Ireland use different understandings of the term 'youth'. Typically 24/25 years is considered the higher age limit of youth. Young Ireland: National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2023-2028 targets children and young people aged 0- to 24-year-olds. 0- to 25-year-olds are targeted by the Youth Work Act (2001). 10- to 24-year-olds are the target group of the latest National Youth Strategy (2015 - 2020) and the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020 [extended to 2021]. In contrast, the Youth Justice Strategy (2021-2027) relates to young people aged 12-17 years. 

Sub-groups within the main youth group 

The National Youth Strategy and National Policy Framework for Children and Young People are both universal policies related to all young people. However, both also specifically target young people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, the poorest outcomes. Marginalised / disadvantaged young people are identified within the National Youth Strategy, to include:

  • Young people marginalised by location or geography or socioeconomic reasons
  • Young Travellers, Roma, young people from ethnic or religious minorities
  • Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Young people with disabilities or mental health issues
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people
  • Young carers
  • Young people in conflict with the law
  • Young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) 
  • Young parents
  • Young people in care
  • Young people in direct provision
  • Lone parents under the age of 25 years.