Celtic Connections and the LGBT Youth Charter of Rights

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2006 National LGBT Conference
28 July 2006

Conference notes that another successful ‘Celtic Connections’ training event took place in Glasgow this year, between Scottish and North Irish LGBT members. This training focussed on the theme of multiple identity and multiple discrimination and continued on from the Scottish UNISON LGBT AGM, which had debated issues surrounding older LGBT people.

Transgender awareness training was carefully prepared and delivered by the Glasgow LGBT Centre. Both sets of delegates were truly inspired by the input; and discussions immediately followed as to how we could

1. Make our structures more easily accessible to our transgendered colleagues; and,

2.Work together to tackle the discrimination that LGBT members face in the workplace and in wider society.

LGBT Youth Scotland, very kindly agreed to facilitate a workshop highlighting the issues for young LGBT people in Scotland. As part of this, LGBT Youth Scotland and VividYouth Glasgow introduced the “LGBT Youth Charter of Rights”.

In August 2003, Phoenix LGBT Youth in Dumfries with support from LGBT Youth Scotland, Save the Children and Dumfries Youth Enquiry Services, began a project to find out about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and how it related to their lives. After a number of workshops and consultations, Phoenix LGBT Youth realised that young LGBT people across Scotland were unable to access their rights under the UNCRC due to homophobia, heterosexism and a general lack of awareness of LGBT issues. They resolved to highlight the issues to other young people and organisations via the LGBT Youth Charter of Rights, with the support of LGBT Youth Scotland.

The Charter of Rights is a way in which organisations can demonstrate their commitment to LGBT young people in their local area by supporting them to identify and access their rights. Organisations can display the Charter only when they have adequate mechanisms in place to validate and support it, such as equal opportunities policies and group agreements, staff training on LGBT issues, information which includes LGBT issues etc. By meeting the requirements of the young people who devised the Charter, organisations will set themselves apart as a centre of excellence for LGBT youth inclusion (in Scotland) and gain LGBT Youth Charter Status.

Conference welcomes this innovative initiative, which seeks to protect the rights of young LGBT people, and notes that further details of the Charter can be found on LGBT Youth Scotland’s website (www.lgbtyouth.org.uk). Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to write a letter of support to LGBT Youth Scotland, particularly highlighting the hard work of the young people who have (and continue) to work hard to protect the rights of young LGBT people in Scotland.