The partnership in the field of youth between the European Union and the Council of Europe has held the Symposium “(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the Youth Sector” in Budapest on 29 May-2 June. The Symposium took a cross-sectoral approach and drew learning from how young people experiencing social exclusion and multiple forms of discrimination are supported in education, employment, health and police. Participants looked at the role youth work plays in the lives of young people falling through the system and made proposals on what to improve.
Key messages from the symposium focused on the need to improve communication among the actors in the youth sector and with other policy fields, ensuring comprehensive multi-lateral support and identifying, together with young people themselves, alternative paths to social inclusion and participation in society. Participants stressed the importance of sustainable youth work infrastructure and resources, peer learning, adaptation of good practice and improved outreach methods for young people that suffer multiple discrimination and barriers to finding their place in today’s Europe.
At this particular time, the symposium also explored how newly arrived young refugees experience Europe, what are their challenges to settling and how youth work can enhance that process through its inherent creativity, innovation and solidarity.
Inspiring presentations from groups such as the Beatfreeks, The Young Republic, Social Doers, Women for Women, analytical papers on understanding and coping with inequality as well as the many examples shared from policy and practice can be found on this page. These will be the basis for the next issue of the Perspectives on Youth series, to be published in 2017.