Investing in youth work to create a more inclusive and democratic society

Current Affairs Committee Strasbourg, France 16 September 2020
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Investing in youth work to create a more inclusive and democratic society

The Congress Current Affairs Committee adopted a report prepared by co-rapporteurs Ilsur Metshin (Russian Federation, ILDG) and Thomas Andersson (Sweden, ILDG) on Youth Work, on 16 September 2020 during an online meeting.

“Youth work can be defined as young people participating in the creation of activities that strengthen their knowledge and skills, helping them to be active and autonomous citizens,” explained Mr. Metshin. “The Congress’s youth delegate programme shows that youth work can take young people to the international level, but it has its roots at the local level,” he added.

The report identifies young people as valuable partners for public authorities, that must ensure living and working conditions in which efficient youth work can be carried out. The resolution calls on local and regional authorities to engage in dialogue with young people, design and implement innovative youth policies and invest sufficient human and financial resources to provide training for youth workers and spaces where they can develop. The report also underlines the need to pay particular attention to the situation of isolated or disadvantaged youth.

“Local and regional authorities have a duty to reach out to all young people and enable them to plan their own future,” stated Mr. Andersson. “Youth work needs a well-adapted system for quality assurance based on clear indicators and aims; only with such information in hand can local and regional authorities set knowledge-based aims and allocate resources,” he added. Youth work is an important contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 10 on “Reducing Inequalities” and SDG 11 on “Sustainable Cities and Communities” to build a more inclusive, sustainable and democratic society.

The rapporteurs underlined how young people are increasingly active in dealing with the issues our societies face today, such as integrating refugees, raising environmental awareness and responding to the COVID-19 crisis, either on the frontlines as health workers or as researchers, activists, innovators, and communicators.

The report provides local and regional authorities with examples of good practice and guidelines aimed at improving co-ordination of youth work between all governance levels.

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Current Affairs Committee- 16 September 2020