Mermaids introduced a legal support service in 2018, which has evolved to become the department that leads on all policy engagement work, as well as legal support. The work of Legal and Policy department (LPD) is driven by the simple belief that every transgender and gender diverse young person deserve the freedom and confidence to be and explore their gender identity wherever their journey takes them, free from fear, isolation and discrimination.
The LPD exists to contribute the tools of law and policy to help the charity reach its charitable objective. The two aspects of the department are distinct, but related. Policy work often inherently involves discussion around law and regulation as legal work often looks to policy best practice. By bringing these two aspects of work together, it allows the nuance of each to inspire and add to the other.
Our legal and policy efforts work together towards the ultimate aim of contributing to an effort to protect and promote equality for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse young people within the United Kingdom today. To this end our work involves:
- Collaborate to create resources that can help trans young people and their family members to advocate for their rights.
- Help develop legal briefs that could help raise awareness about less known areas of law.
- Undertake research to expose discrimination, inequality and breaches of rights.
- Intervene in cases that the charity could offer its expertise to to help advance the rights of trans young people
- Work in partnership with stakeholders to tackle discrimination and inequality.
- Influence government and parliaments to strengthen laws and policies to advance the rights and civil liberties of young trans people in the UK.
- Hold the state and those providing public functions to account for compliance with domestic and international standards and influence others to do so too.