Background information about the Enter! project of the Council of Europe

From the perspective of the Council of Europe, social cohesion is firmly based on human rights (as codified in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Revised European Social Charter), as well as an acceptance of shared responsibility for the welfare of all members of society, especially those who are at risk of poverty or exclusion. In line with this, the youth policy of the Council of Europe aims at “providing young people with equal opportunities and experience which enable them to develop knowledge, skills and competencies to play a full part in all aspects of society”[1].

In 2009, the Council of Europe’s youth sector initiated the Enter! project aiming at the development of youth policy responses to exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people, particularly in multicultural disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This project was set in response to the growing concern and attention of the European Steering Committee on Youth and the Advisory Council on Youth, the governmental and non-governmental partners of the youth sector of the Council of Europe, to matters of social cohesion and inclusion of young people. The main concerns that informed the project were the multi-dimensional social and economic imbalances associated with young people living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and which put them at a disadvantage in accessing social human rights. The methodology of the project sought alternative ways of thinking and practicing youth work, starting from the involvement of young people themselves, relying on the competent action of youth workers and youth organisations and seeking medium and long-term impact through youth policies at local and national level.

The Enter! project promotes access to social rights for young people, in particular of those exposed to social exclusion, discrimination and violence, through a variety of local, national and European interventions involving policy-makers, youth work actors and young people.

 

The objectives of the project are:

  • To address situations social exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people living through non-formal education and youth work projects;
  • To develop the competences of youth workers to initiate, support and evaluate projects for and with young people as a tool for youth empowerment and youth participation for access to social rights;
  • To develop conceptual, educational and practical means of translating access to social rights for young people into the realities of youth work and policy-making;
  • To advocate for the access of young people to social rights, particularly by developing partnerships between civil society actors, young people and policy-makers, at local, national and European levels;
  • To the role of youth policy, non-formal education and youth work in addressing social exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people.

Learn more about the current activities of the project here

 

The main concerns that the project responds to are the multi-dimensional social and economic imbalances which hinder young people in accessing social human rights.

The project includes support measures for youth work practices that enhance young people's participation and for youth policies that reflect the promotion of access to social rights. Enter! combines different types of activities and youth interventions which seek to influence youth policies in Europe from the local to the European level.

 

The project includes several types of interventions:

  • Support for the implementation of a Council of Europe Recommendation on access to social rights and capacity building activities – read more about current activities
  • Enter! long-term training courses (LTTCs) for youth workers to promote access to social rights for all young people. Two editions of LTTCs have been organised in 2009 - 2012 and 2013 - 2014
  • the production and dissemination of Enter Dignityland!, an educational game about social rights that can be played with young people to raise their awareness about social rights
  • large scale youth meetings to ensure young people's voices are heard and included in youth policy orientations of the youth sector of the Council of Europe, in 2011 and 2015
  • thematic seminars on topics related to social rights, such as youth policy, gender equality in youth work, information and counselling, youth participation etc. and study sessions, international youth activities organised at the European Youth Centres Budapest and Strasbourg in co-operation with international youth organisations
  • national level seminars to support the networking and promotion of innovative and coordinated ways of working on access to social rights
  • research on youth work and youth policy aspects related to access to social rights for young people.

 

[1] Committee of Ministers Resolution CM/Res(2008)23 on the youth policy of the Council of Europe

[2] In the project, by youth worker we understand professional staff or individuals working on a voluntary basis in youth organisations, youth work “classical” structures (youth centres, youth clubs), local authorities structures and other forms of youth work (for example, mobile youth work, social animation etc.). The document, as well as the whole project, adopt a broad understand of the profile of “youth worker”.