‘Young people’s voices must be heard’– Mellon

Sinn Fein Councillor Aileen Mellon
Sinn Fein Councillor Aileen Mellon

Young people feel they are being ignored on key issues such as Brexit and lowering the voting age is key to countering that, Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Aileen Mellon has said.

Colr. Mellon was responding to new research from the Prince’s Trust and HSBC that suggest up to a quarter of young people from the north feel disconnected from their community,

She said: “Young people’s rights must be a priority and we must ensure that they get the best start in life and a happy and healthy future. We need to address the systematic failures in areas that feed such disconnect including childcare, education, poverty and mental health.

“We must take particular care of our vulnerable young people including those in care, those suffering from mental illness, disabled young people, and those who face discrimination in law including our LGBT+ citizens and Irish language speakers.

“Young people overwhelmingly opposed Brexit yet they had no vote and were not listened to. The Tory/ DUP Brexit recklessly limits their opportunities for work, education and travel and seeks to create barriers and division.

“These perceptions can be changed, and young people’s rights can stay firmly on the political agenda by lowering the voting age to 16 and ensuring that their voices are heard at both a political and a community level.”

She added: “Sinn Féin are proud of our record at engaging with and standing up for young people, and we say to all of our young people that we care, and we will further our efforts to ensure that the future opportunities and rights of our young people are a priority.”