In these unusual times we recognise the importance of the new measures and law being put in place to look after the safety and health of everyone in the UK. We understand the significance of the pandemic on all of us and how it has changed our lives tremendously. 

This briefing is intended to raise some concerns and recommendations in relation to how these measures will affect excluded young people. The right thing to do is to ensure we all have what we need to be well, safe and valued and to make sure we are living up to our collective wish for a just society for all. We hope this briefing paper will ensure that this can happen for excluded young people. 

MAC-UK’s main concern is always to advocate for, and provide a platform for the voices of the most excluded people in our society, and we fear that these voices are the ones that often get ignored or are seen to be threatening. 

We ask the government, and those in positions of power, to listen to the voices of young people, hear what they are saying and act to mitigate the potential for those people to suffer disproportionately because of the new measures being taken to protect people from this pandemic. 

Who do we mean by ‘excluded young people’ or ‘young adults’? 

By ‘excluded’ young people we are referring to groups of 11-28 year olds who may be experiencing any of these: 

  • who may not have access to a lot of resources, who might be experiencing or be on the edge of poverty; 
  • whose families might be in insecure employment, working multiple jobs or who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic; 
  • who may be at risk of or affected by child sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and/or who may be involved in the underground economy for their livelihoods; 
  • who may be living in overcrowded or poor housing conditions;
  • who may have already experienced the impact of austerity in their communities, such as the closure of youth centres;
  • who might be excluded by, treated differently or perceived as a threat because of aspects of their identity, such as their race, class, sexuality, ability, gender or a combination of these;

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