Quality youth work – young refugees – hate speech

These are some of the issues that are on the agenda of the Joint Council on Youth, the co-managed decision-making committee of the Council of Europe youth sector, on 17 and 18 October 2017.
Strasbourg, France 11 October 2017
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Quality youth work – young refugees – hate speech

The Joint Council on Youth (CMJ), the co-managed decision-making committee – composed of both governmental and non-governmental representatives – of the youth sector will meet in Strasbourg on 17 and 18 October. It will examine progress in the implementation of the Youth Department’s work programme and flesh out its priorities for 2018-19.

Stock will be taken of the 2016-17 priorities to advance democratic citizenship through youth participation, to further the autonomy of young people and their access to rights, and to promote inclusive and peaceful societies. The CMJ will identify the successes of the current programme but also any challenges that may impede implementation, not only at European but also at national and local levels of the policies it makes and standards it sets. Should these challenges be tackled in the next programme of activities? How can the lessons learned be exploited by stakeholders? The combined knowledge and expertise of the governmental and non-governmental members of this unique committee in the Council of Europe will advise the Committee of Ministers on how to move forward with its priorities in the youth field.

Those priorities include:

  • helping member states to provide quality youth work (see Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4) by devising a roadmap for the implementation of the Council of Europe’s recommendations;
  • ensuring young people have access to their rights (see Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)7), including their social rights (see Recommendation CM/Rec(2015)3), by providing guidelines to member states and monitoring implementation of standards;
  • working with the Council of Europe’s Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migrants and Refugees, Tomáš Boček, on how best to support young refugees in their transition to adulthood;
  • advising the Council of Europe on how to move forward in its work to stop hate speech thanks to the lessons learned by the No Hate Speech Movement Campaign which will draw to a close at the end of 2017.

Synergies with other sectors of the Council of Europe will be sought thanks to exchanges on the competencies for democratic culture of the Education Department and on the activities of the North-South Centre.

Following a consultation of local and national youth NGOs, the CMJ will approve the suggestions received by the European Youth Foundation (EYF) for the focus to be given to the pilot activities which will seek EYF support in 2018-19.

Finally, as we move closer to the evaluation of the Council of Europe’s current youth strategy “Agenda 2020”, the CMJ will continue its reflection on how it sees the youth sector in 2030 and what needs to be done to get there. After having drawn up a roadmap at its last meeting in March 2017, next week it will examine the various stakeholders who should be involved in this reflection.

The outcomes of the autumn statutory meetings will be available shortly on the youth sector’s website.