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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Ireland

Ireland

5. Participation

5.5 National strategy to increase youth participation

On this page
  1. Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy
  4. Revisions/ Updates

 

Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation

Ireland’s national strategy on youth participation is The National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making. The National Strategy was introduced in 2015 and covers the timeframe from 2015 until 2020. 

 

Scope and contents

The National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making aims to address participation at a national, regional and local level.

 

The main elements of the national strategy are:

  • The background and rationale for the participation of children and young people in decision-making
  • The objectives of the strategy 
  • Definition, model and principles of children and young people’s participation in decision-making
  • The legal, policy and infrastructural supports to implement the strategy
  • The Action Plan for the implementation of the strategy

 

The strategy focuses on the everyday lives of children and young people and the places and spaces in which they are entitled to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. 

 

Therefore, the strategy identifies the following objectives and priority areas for action:

  1. Children and young people will have a voice in decisions made in their local communities
  2. Children and young people will have a voice in decision-making in early education, schools and the wider formal and non-formal education systems
  3. Children and young people will have a voice in decisions that affect their health and well-being, including on the health and social services delivered to them
  4. Children and young people will have a voice in the Courts and legal.

 

The strategy contains a series of additional objectives, which include:

  1. Promoting effective leadership to champion and promote participation of children and young people
  2. Development of education and training for professionals working with and on behalf of children and young people
  3. Mainstreaming the participation of children and young people in the development of policy, legislation and research.

 

A key priority of the strategy is that seldom-heard children and young people are enabled to take part in decision-making. This is considered to be particularly critical in the case of children living in the care of the State or in receipt of child protection and welfare services. 

 

Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) is the government department responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the strategy.

 

To date, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have published three annual reports (2016, 2017 and 2019) on the implementation of the actions in the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making, 2015-2020. 

 

Revisions/ Updates

The National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making, 2015-2020 has not undergone any revisions or updates since its introduction.