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We have two inter-related strands to our work on advocacy. The first addresses issues affecting young people and the second relates to the development of the youth work sector.

In 2012 we are focusing on these key issues of concern to young people:

  1. Youth Unemployment
  2. Youth Work
  3. Child Protection
  4. Education
    1. Early School Leaving & Educational Disadvantage
    2. Part Time Fees
  5. Health
    1. Medical Cards
    2. Mental Health Needs of Young People
  6. Equality
  7. Active Citizenship & Participation
  8. Social Inclusion
  9. Culture & the Arts
  10. Global Justice
  11. International
  12. Interculturalism

Click Here for our Guide to the Legislative Process in Ireland

For further information on any of these issues please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Officer at NYCI on 01-478 4122 or e-mail


Legislative Process in Ireland


Apart from the European Union, the Oireachtas is the only institution in Ireland with power to make laws for the state. Most legislation is developed in the form of a Government Bill apart from Private Members Bills (which are presented by individual Oireachtas members or parties).  

Preparatory Process:

Child Protection

As part of our 2008-2012 Strategic Plan our aim is to promote the views of youth organisations as they relate to the delivery of child protection policy, practice and procedures for their organisations and their members by:

* Having NYCI recognised as the primary Child Protection advocate for the youth sector. This will be done by providing evidence showing that national policy is reflective of the views and needs of the sector and that the necessary resources are provided.

Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014


Youth Work

In line with our Strategic Plan for 2008-2012 we will continue to engage with policy makers, government departments, national institutions and other structures on issues relating to the continued implementation of the Youth Work Act 2001 and the National Youth Work Development Plan.

Youth Work Act 2001

Ensure that the interests of the voluntary youth sector are represented and our views influence the implementation of the Youth Work Act 2001, particularly ensuring diversity of provision through:

* Achieving significant and measurable progress towards developing comprehensive, diverse youth work provision for all young people at local level


NYCI is dedicated to advocating on behalf of young people and the youth sector to influence policy development and strengthen existing commitments and policies on interculturalism and anti-racism..

What we want to achieve

  • Ensure the implementation of the Intercultural Strategy for Youth Work.
  • Promote the inclusion of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds and Travellers in all youth work.
  • Address racism and xenophobia.



NYCI advocates on a number of international issues by developing the influence  of young people and member organisations on European youth policy and issues that affect young people at a European and international level.

What do we want to achieve?

Global Justice

We advocate on a number of issues by influencing policy on relevant global development and justice issues affecting young people. This will ensure that a development education perspective is reflected in the policies of the voluntary youth sector and that a voluntary youth sector perspective is reflected in the policies of development agencies, government departments, and statutory, voluntary and other bodies.

What we want to achieve

Culture & the Arts

NYCI is committed to youth arts and is dedicated to advocating for young people’s right to active and meaningful participation in the arts and culture.

What do we want to achieve?

· To promote access to the arts, so that more young people have the opportunity to experience arts in a non formal setting as makers, creators, participants, audience members and critics.

· To ensure that these experiences are high quality.

Youth Unemployment

Young people under 25 years of age have been badly hit by the recession. As of June 2010 there are 91,646 young people on the Live Register which equates to one fifth of all those on the Live Register. Youth unemployment has trebled since 2008 with 1 in 3 young men under 25 being out of work. The scale of the problem is masked by a big increase in numbers re-entering or staying in education and the numbers emigrating. The numbers of young people under 25 emigrating increased from 15,600 in 2004 to 30,000 in 2009. Sectors such as construction, retail and services where young people were heavily employed shed thousands of jobs. Between Q1 2008 and Q3 2009 youth employment in construction and manufacturing slumped by 63.6% and 47.4%.

Social Inclusion

In the area of social inclusion we focus on a range of issues. In 2010 we concentrated on one main area to promote the well being of youth in Ireland.

*The elimination of child poverty through the introduction of a second tier payment for children living in poverty.

What do we want to achieve?

Eliminate poverty through the introduction of a second tier payment for children living in poverty.


We believe that income support is essential to eliminate child poverty in Ireland and to ensure that those most at risk are provided with adequate income so they can live with dignity and be part of society. Currently:

Active Citizenship & Participation

We focus on a wide range of issue in relation to young people and active citizenship and participation. For 2010 we are concentrating on one issue:

*Get the voting age reduced to 16 in all Irish elections

What we want to achieve

The voting age to be lowered to 16 in all elections and the creation of an Independent Electoral Commission to address registration issues and promote participation by young people.



We focus on a wide range of issues in relation to equality and the youth sector. In 2010 the one area we are focusing on is:

*The extension of the Equal Status Act to include those under 18

What do we want to achieve?

The extension of the Equal Status Act to include those under eighteen.



NYCI is committed to influencing policy in the area of youth health. For 2010 are focusing on two issues including:

*Medical Cards

*Mental Health Needs of Young People

3.1 - Medical Cards

What do we want to achieve?

The doubling of the income threshold limits for the full medical card for parents of children under 6 and an extension of this to all families with children under 18 years.


Many low income families do not have access to a medical card.


We work on many areas in education but for 2010 the two main issues we are focusing on are:

* Early School Leaving and Educational Disadvantage

* Part-time Fees

2.1 – Early School Leaving & Educational Disadvantage

What do we want to achieve?

Tackle educational disadvantage and do more to reduce early school leaving


Early school leaving and educational disadvantage is a major issue in Ireland.

Youth Work Funding

The recent Budget in October 2008 saw the Government cut the funding lines to youth work by €4 million. The details of the impact of this cut are not clear currently but it will impact on youth services funding at national and local level in 2009. These cuts will not be reversed. Further cuts are anticipated in late 2009 for 2010, so it is vital that the youth sector mobilises to resist further cuts in 2010. The upcoming local and European elections offer an opportunity to put funding for youth work on the agenda.