Responsibility for enabling or improving access of young people for disadvantaged neighbourhood to social rights lies first with state authorities. However, practical and policy measures are also needed and sometimes more effective by other state and non-state actors.
Youth workers, social workers, youth experts, public officials can take action to promote and support access to social rights for young people from disadvantaged neighbourhood. Local authorities, youth and community centres and youth organisations are close to young people and with the needed dedication and commitment are best placed to make a change in young people’s lives.
The Guide to the Enter! Recommendation Taking it Seriously proposes the following steps:
1. Understand the Situation
Understanding the different aspects of an issue is essential in order to be able to plan effective actions. Therefore, before deciding what to do about young people’s access to social rights in your neighbourhood, you should first seek to understand the situation of young people and the social, political and economic environment in which they live.
Knowledge really is power, and knowledge about the way in which young people are denied access to social rights in your neighbourhood is the starting point of action. You can start by thinking about, reflecting upon, and identifying the issues that confront young people in your neighbourhood.
Identify the key stakeholders
It’s important to know who else is affected by the issue that you have identified, who the key decision-makers are, and who the other stakeholders are. This will help you to identify opportunities for collaboration or people who may hold different opinions.
Start creating your story
Collect the evidence, such as stories, data, and personal accounts from people in your neighbourhood to understand the situation.
2. Devise a Plan of Action
With a good understanding of the situation, you can start to decide on the best course of action. In general, good activism requires good planning. A planning session in the group will help you to focus on exactly what you want and are able to do, and what is the best way of achieving your results. For more ambitious aims, this is probably an advisable first move, since an action that doesn't achieve its desired results can be discouraging. You need to make the first thing you do effective.
Try working through the four stages below within your group:
- Find out where you stand: do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for your group
- Decide on the problem you want to address, and the results you want to achieve
- Think of the best way you can to address it, given the resources in your group
3. Take Action
By action, we mean something beyond a "formal" activity and something, which probably includes a wider community than the group itself. Taking action is designed to bring about a result, which is valuable not only from the educational point of view, but also beyond. The actions you plan could be designed to support people affected by the situation, to increase young people’s knowledge about the situation, or to actually change the situation itself.
Link up with other groups or movements
Although it is useful for young people to initiate their own actions, there can also be benefit in taking action as part of a larger movement, or gaining experience by working with other organisations.
Support people in need
Many young people and youth groups are active in offering direct assistance to people who have been denied access to their social rights.
Training and Peer Education
Young people can make excellent educators and are often more effective in recruiting others to a cause or changing attitudes, particularly when the audience is their own peer group.
Advocacy and Campaigning
Policy change comes about – whether at national, international or local level – as a result of a number of pressures, often one after another, from various sources.
Speak about the Recommendation in public events
Organise a public meeting or join platforms working on social rights are just some of the ideas on what you can do.