The Council of Europe’s youth policy aims at providing young people with equal opportunities and experience, which enable them to develop knowledge, skills and competencies and to play a full part in all aspects of society .

 

In pursuing this mission to secure and provide equal opportunities, specific attention is paid to vulnerable groups of young people such as refugees, asylum‐seekers and migrants. In October 2015, the Joint Council on Youth adopted a Statement on the so‐called refugee crisis in Europe, which and calls for special attention to particular vulnerable groups, in particular through capacity building opportunities in order to achieve inclusive and peaceful societies with young refugees and asylum‐seekers, and calls for support for these efforts.

In 2017, the Joint Council on Youth decided to prepare policy guidelines to protect and support refugees in transition to adulthood, in particular through the role of youth work and youth policy. This is an integral part of the Council of Europe Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children (2017‐2019) . It should be finalised and submitted to the Committee of Ministers in 2018. The 2018‐2019 Youth for Democracy programme of the Council of Europe foresees several activities with youth organisations in this domain and is associating young refugees directly with these initiatives. An integrated approach is needed to increase the impact of each one of these measures and, especially, in advocating and recognising the role of youth policy and youth work for the social inclusion of refugees.

Thanks to the financial support of the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the Youth Department of the Council of Europe is launching Youth.Together‐ a project to associate and support local youth work and youth policy actors to the work of the Council of Europe for social inclusion of young refugees and their access to rights. In addition to supporting the Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children, the project also promotes the implementation of the Committee of Ministers Recommendations to member states on Young People’s Access to Rights [CM Rec(2016)7] and on Youth Work [CM Rec(2017)4].