Ireland

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Statistics on young people

Total number of young people from the ages of 0 to 24 who live in the country: 1,497,181 (35.31%).

Actors and Structures

Public authorities - National public authorities

The Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is part of the Department of Health and Children.

The role of the OMCYA is: to improve the lives of children (defined as persons under the age of 18 years) within the framework of the National Children’s Strategy 2000-2010); to develop policy and legislation on child welfare and child protection; and to bring greater coherence to policy-making for children. As already indicated its role will henceforth also relate to youth affairs. In addition to the National Children’s Strategy, the OMC supports the Minister to implement the National Childcare Investment Programme (2006-2010), the Children Act 2001 (see 3 below) and the commitments in the national agreement Towards 2016 in relation to children’s services.

Youth councils

The National Youth Council of Ireland

The National Youth Council of Ireland is the representative body for national voluntary youth work organisations (youth NGOs) in Ireland. It represents and supports the interests of 50 voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. It seeks to ensure that all young people are empowered to develop the skills and confidence to fully participate as active citizens in an inclusive society. NYCI is the national ’prescribed representative organisation’ under the Youth Work Act 2001 and is recognised as a Social Partner (within the the Community and Voluntary Pillar) in the partnership framework for drawing up national agreements (including the current agreement Towards 2016).

National Programmes on youth

National Children’s Strategy 2000-2010

The goals of the National Children’s Strategy are:

  • Children will have a voice in matters which affect them and their views will be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.
  • Children's lives will be better understood; their lives will benefit from evaluation, research and information on their needs, rights and the effectiveness of services.
  • Children will receive quality supports and services to promote all aspects of their development.

Action plans i.e. official strategies

The Youth Homelessness Strategy was introduced by the Department of Health and Children in 2001. Its overall goal was: “To reduce and if possible eliminate youth homelessness through preventative strategies and where a child becomes homeless to ensure that he/she benefits from a comprehensive range of services aimed at reintegrating him/her into his/her community as quickly as possible”. The Youth Homelessness Strategy remains a priority action within the national partnership agreement Towards 2016.

(Source: Youth Partnership – Council of Europe, European Commission)