Major LGBT Youth Conference To Produce ‘Dublin Statement’

Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, speaking at the first International LGBT Youth Community Forum in Dublin earlier this week. [Image: BeLonG To]

Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Irish Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, speaking at the first International LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion Conference in Dublin earlier this week. [Image: BeLonG To]

The results of a major  international LGBT  Youth conference, held in Dublin, will be presented soon as a new template for LGBT youth across Europe, in the form of a so-called Dublin Statement on LGBT Youth.

The Dublin Statement was drafted with delegates at the first LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion Conference at Croke Park last Monday, organised by BeLong To, the Irish national organisation for LGBT youth, which set out a vision for LGBT young people across Europe in the areas of education, employment, rights and services.
Speaking at the Dublin event on Monday, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD committed to supporting and promoting “The Dublin Statement on LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion”. International speakers at the Conference included Dr Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN, and Nevin Öztop from Kaos GL, a Turkish LGBT activist who spoke about the current protests in Turkey and how LGBT people have been involved. Kocho Andonovski from Macedonia, and Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum also addressed the conference, as well as speakers from Greece, France and Finland.

Speaking at the event, Minister Fitzgerald said:

“As set out at the start of our Presidency we want to ensure a sustainable link and legacy with regard to our programme and the theme of social inclusion. This will be achieved through our support and promotion of the Dublin Statement on LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion. This should inform social inclusion policy and initiative cross Europe in responding to the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people”

Fitzgerald also praised BeLonG To – organisers of the Conference – for fighting against difficulties and challenges faced by LGBT young people, on both an Irish and international level. Their work, the Minister stated, has put Ireland “at the forefront in combating the problem of homophobic bullying, through its work in the youth sector, as well as in other sectors and settings.”

Michael Barron, Director of BeLong To stated:

What this conference is saying is that LGBT young people throughout Europe have fundamental rights when it comes to education, employment, participation in society and safety. No LGBT young person should be made suffer because of who they are and the time has come for a considered national and European response.”

A recent survey by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency of 93,000 LGBT people across Europe, which was presented at the conference, found almost 90% of respondents experienced homophobia or transphobia in school, and that LGBT young people were more severely socially marginalized than LGBT adults.

EU Youth Ministers have stated their commitment to take relevant actions in this regard, and Minister Fitzgerald is presently hosting an expert round table event that will explore further the role of youth work in advancing the employment of young people (June 20–21 in County Kildare).  BeLonG To will also be participating in this event.

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He is founder of EILE Magazine, a digital publication for the Irish LGBT community, and has published several works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He lives in Cork with his partner.
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