Following on from the launch of CLC’s Road to Rights campaigns in March 2011, five youth-led children’s rights campaigns celebrated their achievements during 2012 and early 2013...
1 In July 2012 Divis Young Women’s Group unveiled their mural to highlight the issue of suicide and self harming by young people in the Lower Falls area of Belfast at a launch event attended by other young people as well as local political and community representatives. Through this campaign these young women are sending a strong message to government that the provision of community based mental health support services for young people in their area needs to be increased as a matter of urgency.
2 In August 2012 Carrickfergus Youth Council produced a report on Community Safety Issues in the “Love Lane” area of Carrickfergus. Since then they have used their findings and recommendations to lobby local civic leaders, public authorities and members of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership in Carrickfergus, to ensure that this area is made safer and cleaner for all local residents, young and older. By doing so they have exercised their right to be directly involved in decisions made at local level which impact on the lives of all young people from the Carrickfergus area and they have also challenged the commonly held view that young people have no interest in improving their own environment and are more likely to be the source of the problem rather than, in this case, the solution.
3 In September 2012 young people from Quaker Cottage launched their suicide awareness educational video “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), with the aim of making it available in schools and youth groups across North and West Belfast. These young people are urging schools, communities and decision makers to face the reality of young people’s lives, reduce the stigma which prevents some young people from seeking timely help for mental health problems and to work together to make sure that all young people get the help they need.
4 In March 2013 Young NCB launched their report, “Following in their Footsteps: Investigating Young People’s Attitudes to Sectarianism in Northern Ireland”, after successfully completing a survey of young people’s views on sectarianism.
5 In June 2013 Youth@clc launched their report, "Young people’s Views on Accessing Counselling in Schools – A Children’s Rights Campaign", in the Long Gallery at Stormont. The launch was sponsored by the Minister for Education. Youth@clc are currently considering their reply to the Minister's written response to the report's recommendations on what needs to happen to address the concerns and views expressed by 955 young people who participated in youth@clc's survey.