28 January, 2015

Rights of young people

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Category: Council of Europe, Discrimination, Poverty, Recommendation
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youth rightsYoung people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods must fully enjoy their social rights, says Committee of Ministers.

Disadvantaged neighbourhoods are sadly still a reality in all the Council of Europe states. These are areas or communities in which residents experience poverty, deprivation, violence, exclusion, marginalisation, a lack of opportunities, poor living conditions, a degraded environment and vulnerability to a higher degree than the majority of the population. These neighbourhoods are often denied or overlooked in terms of funding from national, regional and local authorities and the private sector. Furthermore, they are often at a distance from city centres without adequate transport systems, leading to isolation and segregation. Disadvantaged neighbourhoods lack important infrastructure and services for young people, including youth centres, schools, sport and cultural facilities, employment agencies. This has negative impacts on their life chances and future development.

Eradicating poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion faced by young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods must be the ultimate goal of public policies in all 47 Council of Europe member states.  Ministers’ Deputies of 47 States recommended that such policies are evidence-based, gender-sensitive and take into consideration the specific situations and needs of these young people, and the public services be accessible and affordable

The Recommendation adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 January 2015 focuses on such areas as education and training, employment and occupation, health, housing, information and counselling, sports, leisure and culture; efforts towards abolition of the segregation and isolation that negatively affects disadvantaged neighbourhoods no matter where they are.  The policies should promote participation of these young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in all matters related to the planning and management of their living environment. The role of non-formal education and youth work, as well as youth workers and youth organisations in the prevention of discrimination, violence and exclusion and the promotion of active citizenship was highlighted.

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