Action 43 of Realising Our Rural Potential – Action Plan for Rural Development relates to my Department’s National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making 2015-2020.
This Strategy was launched in June 2015, and is a constituent of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020. The strategy is guided and influenced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Strategy builds on the infrastructure for children’s participation already established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs through the 31 Comhairle na nÓg and Local Authority structures around the country. This cross-government action plan strengthens the voice of children and young people in their local communities, in formal and informal education settings, in health and social services and in the national context of government decision-making.
A key objective of the strategy is that children and young people will have a voice in their local communities.
Under action 2.5 of this Strategy the Department of Rural and Community Development will consult with children and young people in order to capture their views as part of the new rural policy development process.
My Department and the Department of Rural and Community Development are in the early stages of exploring how young people’s voices can be heard under the current structures.