Children & Young People Must be Protected Under the Proposed New Age Discrimination Legislation
Koulla Yiasouma, Director at Include Youth, supports the Commissioner for Children and Young People's call for people of all ages to be protected under the proposed new age legislation which will cover the provision of goods, facilities and services.
"It's bewildering but not surprising that children and young people are once again having to fight to be afforded the same level of protection from discrimination as others," said Koulla.
"Many of the young people we work with live independently and need to fend for themselves even before the age of 18, which is all the more reason why they should have these protections from discrimination.
"A high proportion of the young people we work with present with complex mental health needs, yet experience great difficulties when trying to access age-appropriate services.
"Children and young people often feel discriminated against when attempting to access services and facilities that others take for granted, such as public transport and shops where sometimes they are asked to leave their bags outside or forced to enter the shop one by one.
"Negative assumptions about young people, for example that they are antisocial or will cause damage, again are inaccurate and unfair and further serve to isolate them from the communities in which they live.
"We call on the First and Deputy First Ministers to include children and young people in this legislation ensuring that they are provided with equal and appropriate access to goods, facilities and services. Not doing so will further discriminate against our children and young people."
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For more information contact Sharon Whittaker, Communications Officer at Include Youth, on 028 9031 1007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the Northern Ireland Executive's Commitment to extending this legislation is available here.