Making a Complaint
If I feel like I am being discriminated against because I am LGBT what can I do? Most organisations and services have a way to deal with complaints, if you are not satisfied; there are other steps you can take. · If you have a complaint about a school, it should first be brought to the attention of the principal. Should you not get an appropriate response, you can put a complaint in writing to the Board of Management. Depending on the nature of your complaint, you can contact the Ombudsman for Children's Office or, alternatively, the Equality Authority if you are dissatisfied with the response you get from the school's Board of Management. · A complaint to the Equality Tribunal in relation to schools, employment, etc., usually must be made within 6 months of the incident occurring. Complaints must be made in writing by downloading and completing the Complaint Form found at www.equalitytribunal.ie/forms or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01 – 4774100 to order a paper copy. If a person is too young to make a complaint, the parent or guardian can make a complaint on their behalf. · Support with legal advice for a complaint may be available from the Equality Authority and BeLonG To would also be glad to offer support or advice to a young person or a parent who wishes to make a complaint. · The Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) can deal with complaints made by or on behalf of children and young people under 18. Complaints that the OCO can investigate relate to the administrative actions, or inactions, of a range of public organisations, including schools, HSE services, and local authorities. The OCO is independent and impartial in its approach to dealing with complaints. For more information, you can free-phone 1800 20 20 40, email email@example.com or go to www.oco.ie. · If you are over 18, you can make a complaint based on discrimination to the Equality Tribunal. · If you are over 18 and have a complaint that relates to your unfair treatment by certain public bodies (HSE, government departments or local authorities), you can go to the Office of the Ombudsman. · A complaint against the Gardai can be made to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. All of these services are free.
BeLonG To Youth Services Supporting and Resourcing Lesbian Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Young People in Ireland.
For more info please: P: 01-6706223 W: www.belongto.org
This booklet outlines the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people – especially in relation to issues connected to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Your Rights Explained A Guide for LGBT Young People This publication does not necessarily reflect the view or position of the Equality Authority.
LGBT young people have the same rights as other young people in access to health care, and your GP should meet your health care needs regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. If you don't get the health care you need, BeLonG To Youth Services can help you find services that reflect your life and your identity. At what age can I access Health Services without my parent or guardian? Health services vary in whether they require parental consent. Services will let you know over the phone what their requirements are. Mental health is an example of a service that will require parental consent. If a young person is seen to be at risk of harm or if they make a disclosure about neglect or abuse, then confidentiality about this cannot be kept by any service. This is because services need to make young people's safety and wellbeing their first priority.
What rights have transgender young people in relation to health care and Mental Health? As with any other young person, trans youth have a right to appropriate health care. Whether this is in relation to getting a diagnosis of their gender identity (which many people do not want), access to hormone blockers/treatment or being referred to someone who is able to look after their health needs. Unfortunately, in practice, trans people's health needs are often not being met due to the lack of awareness and the lack of availability of trans health experts in Ireland. BeLonG To can help you access the best services.
Do I have any protections as an LGBT young person in work? All people have rights when it comes to employment, including young people. Your age will determine how many hours you can work, the type of work that you can do, how long your breaks should be and how much you can get paid. For example, the minimum wage for people under 18 is â‚Ź6.06 per hour, and â‚Ź8.65 per hour if 18 and older. For more information on this, check out the employment section of www.citizensinformation.ie There are also laws which directly affect LGBT young people in the work place; they are the Equal Status Act 2000 and the Equality Act 2004. There are 9 grounds on which a person can't be discriminated. These are Sexual Orientation and Gender (including Transgender) civil and family status, age, disability, race, religious belief and membership of the Traveller Community. Discrimination is described in the law as the treatment of a person in a less favourable way than someone else, on any of the 9 grounds.
Will I be able to express my gender at work? Even though it is not expressly stated in the Equal Status Act, a case taken by a trans woman in the Equality Tribunal ruled that discrimination based on gender identity is against the law. As such, people are entitled to express their gender identity in work and elsewhere. If you are transitioning and have fears about how your colleagues might react to this, you should consider looking at guidelines about this developed by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). Check their website for more details: www.TENI.ie
How can an LGBT young person get their relationships recognised? There are currently two ways young people can get their relationships recognised. This is done through a marriage or a civil partnership. Currently in Ireland, people of a different sex can get married and samesex people can get a civil partnership. There are a number of campaigns for this to change, and make same-sex marriage a possibility.
Under the Equal Status Acts, schools are prohibited from discriminating on the 9 equality grounds, such as sexual orientation and gender (including transgender). The Equal Status Acts apply to all schools, regardless of religious ethos. Harassment based on sexual orientation or gender (including transgender) is also prohibited in schools, as is sexual harassment. These prohibitions apply to all aspects of school life: class rooms, hallways, school trips, sports fields, and so on. This includes harassment by teachers, principals, other staff, students, and visitors to the school, such as parents or visiting sports teams.
As Ireland only recognises two genders/sexes (man/woman, male/female), this impacts on the options of certain trans identities. A trans person's officially recognised gender will dictate how they can get a relationship recognised. Currently, Ireland does not change trans people's birth certificates, further limiting options. You have to be 18 to enter a civil partnership. To get married, you need to be 18 or have a Court Exemption Order. You are not able to be married and in a civil partnership at the same time. For other criteria, check out: www.citizensinformation.ie
Under the Equal Status Acts, schools are liable for any harassment by their staff or others acting on their behalf, whether or not it was done with a school's approval. Schools have a legal duty to take 'reasonable' steps to prevent harassment or sexual harassment of LGBT students. Reasonable steps could include having school policies, having proper procedures to address incidents and ensuring that they do not recur. It is a legal requirement for schools to have an Anti-Bullying Policy as part of their Code of Behaviour. BeLonG To recommends that schools have: - Specific mention of harassment and homophobic/transphobic bullying in their Anti-Bullying Policy. - An environment that celebrates diversity and has positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. - Classes that use the new SPHE/RSE resource, Growing up Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. - An outline of the roles and responsibilities of the staff and what steps will be taken when homophobic or transphobic bullying occurs. - Information about the supports that will be available to students who experience homophobic or transphobic bullying. -Information and reassurance on how students will be supported if they speak up if they are being bullied or witness bullying, and who the designated person to speak to is. -Outline the consequences to those involved in the bullying and the supports that will be given to them to address their bullying behaviour.