MAP launches “Make Our Rights Reality” – 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 don’t uphold their rights.
Young people complain to us of being sent away 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
MAP will be leading the delivery of MORR in East Anglia, with Dan Mobbs, MAP Chief Executive, saying:
“Young people have had a bigger proportion of public service cuts than any other age group, with cuts to youth services and mental health provision. They aren’t entitled to the national living wage and can pay taxes without being able to vote. Young people are often expected to take responsibility without having rights protected – the worst possible situation – found to be a factor in the Rotherham abuse scandal. Make Our Rights Reality is an opportunity to support young people to stand up for themselves and stay safe by learning about their legal rights and participate in campaigns aimed at improving life chances. MAP is 100% behind it and very proud to be one of the delivery hubs. We can’t wait to get started.”
Em, aged 25, a young person who participated in a pilot of MORR’s core ‘RIGHTS’ training course, says:
“I really enjoyed it! I got the knowledge I needed to sort things out. I’ve already used what I learned to get compensation from my landlord for the damp and mould in my bedroom.”