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The main Governmental authorities and public actors involved in policymaking, in the field of youth’s contribution to global processes of policymaking include:
- the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY): the main government department responsible for youth policy in Ireland. The Participation Unit is a dedicated department of DCEDIY that works to ensure that children and young people have a voice in the design, delivery and monitoring of services and policies that affect their lives.
- Hub na nÓg (Youth Hub): established by DCEDIY, Hub na nÓg supports Government Departments, State agencies and non-government organisations to give children and young people a voice in decision-making on issues that affect their lives, with a particular focus on those that are seldom heard.
- the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications: responsible for the areas of Communications, Climate Action, Environment, Energy and Natural Resource sectors.
- the Department of Foreign Affairs: responsible for promoting the Ireland’s interests in the European Union and the wider world. It is also involved with international aid and promoting youth engagement. For example, the Department partners with the National Youth Council of Ireland to provide the opportunity for young Irish people to participate in the UN Youth Delegate Programme.
- the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Development Cooperation Division manages and delivers the Government’s overseas aid programme, Irish Aid.
- Youth councils (Comhairle na nÓg): youth councils in the local authorities, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies.
- The National Youth Parliament (Dáil na nÓg): the annual national parliament for young people aged between 12-18 years.
Further details are provided in Chapter 5.4 Young people's participation in policymaking.
The main non-public actors involved in policymaking, in the field of youth's contribution to global processes of policymaking, include:
- An Taisce: Ireland’s national trust. It is the National Operator for all international environmental education programmes of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), including the Green flag Schools programme (discussed in Chapter 9.4 Raising awareness about global issues).
- ECO-UNESCO: Ireland's Environmental Education and Youth Organisation. ECO-UNESCO works to conserve the environment and to promote the personal development of young people through practical environmental projects and activities. It is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).
- Foróige: an Irish youth organisation which aims to enable young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their development and in the development of society.
- The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI): the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. Further information about NYCI is available in Chapter 1.4 Youth policy decision-making.
General distribution of responsibilities between top-level and regional/local authorities
As illustrated above, the responsibility for youth's contribution to global policymaking, implementation, and follow-up, is divided between the government, local authorities, and non-governmental organizations.
The Children and Young People’s Participation Support Team collaborates with other Government departments, statutory bodies, and non-governmental organisations in providing opportunities for children and young people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives, with a strong focus on ensuring participation by seldom heard children and young people.
Ireland was the first country in Europe to have developed a cross-Governmental National Strategy on children and young people’s participation in decision making (Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020)