Olga Khoroshilova's piece on the BBC World Services website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41737330) tells the story of a brief period in 1921 when the gay community in Russia had a "brief window of freedom" and shows extraordinary photographs of a gay wedding from the 1920s. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend this week where I was teasing him about making an honest man of his partner, commenting on how progressive we are in the UK and how the gay community has the options of a civil partnership or a w
Attending School or University is not for everyone. There are a plethora of reasons explaining why a young person might see themselves as unfit to carry on with their education. These reasons range from financial instability to lack of motivation; however, they should not be permanently punished because they made this choice. All across the U.K. and Europe the number of young people dropping out of school is rising, and it is noticeable in the workplace. Young people bring fresh ideas to the table, they are typically fast learners, and are excited to work. Their absence is strongly felt.
The Lammy Review, chaired by David Lammy MP, was published today as an independent review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). IARS' work was recognised as part of this review with the report noting that there is great potential for criminal justice agencies to utilise a restorative justice approach to improve relationships with BAME communities.
I was reading with interest about Sir Vince Cable's views on the impact of Brexit on young people (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40842017). Sir Vince clearly takes the view that the youth of Britain have had a raw deal following the decision of the majority to leave the European Union and he may have a good point. This was particularly interesting as I've had an interesting week working with our Youth projects this week.
In a rare nod to gender equality the 13th Doctor is to be a woman. As Jodie Whittaker takes up her position in the blue box we have been reflecting on the positive statement this sends out to women and girls across the country. Not only can women actors be cast in lead roles, but women can become doctors and academics all wrapped up in one short announcement. Here at IARS we love it.
I suspect everyone in the UK has been touched by the tragic fire at Grenville Tower in London and my heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones in this incident. Amidst the stories of the heroism of the London Fire Brigade and of those local residents that rallied round or rescued people my heart was lifted by the article on the BBC and in some of the London papers today about the the young people who have formed together to support the relief efforts and to give their time to support people who are suffering.
The Guardian today has a great article about the release of Chelsea Manning and her survival in gaol as a transgender woman. Chelsea, like so many of the transgender community, faced prejudice and abuse whilst in prison and one can only imagine the daily challenge it must have been to simply survive. This drew my attention to our Epsilon project. Epsilon is a project which is focused on identifying the challenges faced by LGBTIQA refugees when trying to integrate in their adopted country or when seeking asylum.
I was thrilled to see the takeover of the IARS blogs last week by the IARS interns, so apt for European Youth Week. I was also impressed to read about Jemma Skelding a 12 year old, profoundly deaf Falkirk school girl who addressed the Scottish Parliament using sign language [BBC]. The elections have come to the interest of my 12 year old daughter too, she has an opinion that the voting age should be lowered as she feels had she and her classmates had the chance to vote in the referendum the outcome would be different.
My spirits were lifted this week by the report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report which told us that on average teenagers are happy with life and give life 7.3/10 in a happiness score [BBC]. In the UK the average 15 year old scores happiness at 7/10, which is a positive affirmation in a world which throws so many challenges in their direction. Far from being grumpy the young people we bump in to around the offices here in Canada Water (Southwark) are mostly happy if occasionally bashful!
Today marks the 49th anniversary of Enoch Powell's infamous Rivers of Blood speech where he expressed his concerns about the level of migration and the impact that this could cause. His predictions of 7 million migrants in the UK by the year 2000 didn't come true, with actual figures of around 4.6m reported in the 2001 census [BBC, ONS]. At the time his words sparked uprisings of workers worried about their jobs and led to his sacking from the shadow cabinet.