Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA today held meetings with the Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch and the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma.
Responsibility for oversight of the Offices of the two Commissioners transferred to the Department for Communities under Departmental restructuring.
The Minister said: “Today’s meetings have been useful and very informative for me personally. Both Eddie and Koulla play an important role in advising the Executive on how we can better promote and safeguard the interests of older people and children and young people across society.
“The Executive recently published its Child Poverty and Active Ageing Strategies. Through our new approach to the PfG, I will look to develop detailed plans to deliver on the objectives of both strategies so it was timely to meet with both Commissioners.”
Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, commented: “ I very much welcomed the opportunity to meet the Minister today and discussed with him key issues affecting the lives of children and young people, in Northern Ireland. I also welcomed his commitment to ongoing dialogue particularly on the PfG and the opportunity this provides to deliver a children and young people’s strategy that will ensure children’s rights are protected.”
Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland said: “I was delighted to meet with the Minister for Communities to discuss a range of issues of relevance to older people, including the ‘Make the Call’ campaign which aims to increase benefit uptake among older people. I look forward to working with the Minister to create a society which respects, values and protects our older people.”
Concluding, Minister Givan said: “The figures my Department released last week about poverty levels across Northern Ireland highlight some of the very real challenges we face, particularly in respect of reducing child and pensioner poverty. Delivering a better future for our older and young people requires commitment and co-operation across government and beyond. I look forward to continuing to work with the Commissioners for the benefit of our society.”
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