Human Rights in Ireland welcomes this guest post from Mairead Healy, Dean Brennan Perth and Alina Balc. Mairead is the Executive Director of Future Voices Ireland and an Ashoka Global Fellow; Dean and Alina are secondary school students and have undertaken the Future Voices Ireland Flagship programme.
Future Voices Ireland is an innovative youth empowerment NGO which works directly with disenfranchised young people in Ireland to help them find their voices. We do this through the medium of human rights, in exploring what human rights means to the young people in their daily lives, communities and in relation to the wider policy context. It is our hope that the young people we work with, will go on to be the future voices in Ireland, and in doing so, ensure more representative and diverse decision making in our legal, political and civil service spheres, which better reflects all communities including their own.
Over the course of our programme this year, we have been amazed and astounded by the insights that the young people have given us as program leaders, on their views of the world and in understanding how the young people often do not feel listened to by society at present.
At our recent end of year presentations chaired by Dr Liam Thornton at UCD Sutherland School of Law, we were delighted to be joined by an esteemed judging panel including Mr Justice Frank Clarke (Irish Supreme Court), Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan, Professor Donncha O’Connell (NUI Galway) and human rights lawyer Gareth Noble from KOD Lyons Solicitors. As organisers working with the young people for the past 2 years, even we were completely blown away by how articulate, empathetic and confidently the teens presented difficult human rights issues with their own solutions, in front of their peers and the judging panel. The task was incredibly difficult for the judges and whilst the two poems below did not win, we wanted to share them widely, as we believe they are incredibly moving and poignant, in confronting difficult issues as seen through the eyes of teenagers in Ireland. Continue reading “The Future Voices of Ireland Have Their Say”
Children and young people have been one of the biggest losers in Minister Lenihan’s ‘austerity budgets’ and Budget 2011 is no different. With predicted “savings” of €307m from the Education and Skills budget, €765m from the Health and Children budget and reductions in Jobseeker’s Allowance, Supplementary Welfare Allowance (for the 22-24 age bracket) and Rent Supplement payments, yesterday’s budget has augmented the problems children and young people already struggle with. The diminished financial support available to young people leaving second-level education will serve to restrict the opportunities available to many, forcing them (and their parents) to make very difficult decisions regarding their future prospects. Continue reading “Budget 2011: Young people and youth services”
This is our third guest post from Deirdre Duffy. You can read about Deirdre on our Guest Contributors page.
At present, young people, particularly young men under 24 are the biggest losers in the economic downturn. The generation who entered the workforce in a period of unprecedented growth now make up the largest proportion of Ireland’s unemployed. Like their predecessors in the 1970s and 1980s, they will not only suffer the brunt of the economic downturn but it is likely that the career pathways and prospects of many members of this group will never recover. Already Ireland is experiencing a new wave of economically-driven emigration, many of whom will never return. At the sake of being accused of alarmism, Ireland is steadily allowing a generation of young people to be pushed to the sidelines and facing a return to the culture of exit, of emigration, endemic to Irish society until the 1990s.
Continue reading “Duffy on Budget 2010: Targeting the Lost Generation”
HRiI is today, on International Human Rights Day 2009, hosting a blog carnival to give initial reactive assessment of the impact of Budget 2010 from a human rights perspective. As with our last blog carnival, I am using a Wordle to illustrate the main themes of the budget in a word cloud.
Posts from our regular contributors and from guest contributors will tease out the human rights impact of the budget in the areas of social security law; children’s rights; labour rights; the rights of migrants; women and Budget 2010; the rights of those who are disabled; the human rights and equality infrastructure within the State.
There is much analysis of Budget 2010 in the main Irish broadsheets. RTE allows individuals to watch the budget statement in full. Tonight with Vincent Browne had an excellent post budget analysis programme last night. The focus of this show was on the people affected by Budget 2010 with interesting contributions from a wide range of persons.
We are always open to readers’ proposals for guest posts and blog events. You can send us a direct message via our facebook fan page or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/humanrightsblog, or you can email any of the regular contributors.
I do hope you enjoy this blog carnival and hope that it adds a more human rights analysis to Budget 2010 than has to date been provided.