New Youth Rights Initiative Launches

The youth rights movement starts here! Pioneering local charities 42nd Street and YPAS have launched a major initiative aimed at empowering young people to use their rights to address social injustice.

Young people facing a rising tide of housing, money and mental health problems all too often encounter creaking public services that aren’t responsive to their needs and that fail to uphold their rights. Young people complain of being fobbed off by council departments that were established to protect them, shut out of mental health services, exploited by employers, singled out for benefit sanctions – and ignored when they try to speak up.

Arguably, no previous generation has experienced a greater need for the skills to navigate ‘the system’ as part of negotiating a successful path to adulthood. Yet few young people are aware of their rights, how to assert them or where to go for advice.

A partnership of funders and leading youth advice charities has come together to pioneer an innovative approach. Make Our Rights Reality (MORR) will:

  • Educate young people about their rights and responsibilities and how to tackle their everyday problems
  • Support young people to work collectively in their communities to address social injustice
  • Establish a national campaign network of young people speaking up for their rights

42nd Street in Manchester will be working with Young Persons Advisory Service in Liverpool to deliver MORR in this region.

Simone Spray, Chief Executive of 42nd Street in Manchester, says: “Navigating complicated but essential health, social and welfare systems can be so complicated. By teaching Public Legal Education, young people will become better equipped with the tools to not only navigate these systems, but also to realise their rights and influence future developments and I am particularly excited about how this approach can help shape services for young people in the new political era of Devolution.”

Monique Collier, Chief Executive of Young Persons Advisory Service (YPAS) in Liverpool, says: “YPAS in Liverpool is excited to embark on this innovative MORR partnership journey with our colleagues from 42nd Street in response to the nationally recognised gaps of young people not being aware of their rights within a hierarchical system that impacts on their empowerment. Our North West hub will evidence what young people require in order to exercise their rights to address social justice by providing support and education.”

For more information, contact Kimberley Gardner on 0151 707 1025 or email Kimberley.Gardner@ypas.org.uk.

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