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Jobs, reform, rights, action -- what young people want

YOUNG Irish people want action on the X Case, jobs, political reform and accountability, mental health and involvement in decision making.

They outlined their vision for a new Ireland in a declaration unveiled at Aras an Uachtarain.

The wide-ranging declaration called on law makers to extend equal marriage and adoption rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

It also urged the Government to extend its engagement with the Irish diaspora by extending voting rights to emigrants and called for a reform of the Leaving Cert system.


It followed President Michael D. Higgins' six-month engagement with Irish people aged 17 to 26.

The President and 100 young people convened to consider the drafting of the Take Charge of Change declaration the end of a six-month consultation process involving almost 800 young people.

That process led to the publication of the Being Young And Irish report, which captures the 'spirit' of the President's regional workshops held during September, where young people debated topics such as political accountability, social welfare provision, employment opportunities, education systems, gender equality and sexuality, abortion, mental health and suicide, civil participation and Irish identify.

The report formed the basis of Saturday's declaration, which also highlighted a desire among young people to see greater equality and diversity.

It recommends diversity training in schools and calls for the drafting of a constitution which "represents all members of our society, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation".

The declaration, which was delivered before President Higgins, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and representatives of various state agencies, includes a number of proposals, including: a dual approach to teaching Irish at Leaving Cert level, developing social opportunities for the Irish language, making marriage equal and adoption rights a reality; and a campaign by young people to promote active citizenship.