In a big step for youth rights, Ministers of the Council of Europe yesterday adopted a Recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights. The European Youth Forum calls on Member States to now act on this and give young people full access to their rights so that they can live the kind of independent lives, free from discrimination that they are entitled to.
Across Europe young people are routinely deprived of their rights and discriminated against. The European Youth Forum welcomes this Recommendation and sees it as a strong step in the right direction in ensuring that the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of young people are upheld.
Young people have been disproportionately impacted by economic and social difficulties and – with one in five young people at risk of poverty and social exclusion – they are now the most vulnerable age group. This is further compounded by young people’s under-representation in political and decision-making processes, with less than 2% of parliamentarians being under the age of 30. There are significant barriers to young people making the transition into adulthood and to realising their rights to, for example, a good quality job, education and healthcare.
The onus is now on Member States, who have signed up to this Recommendation and agreed to examine its follow-up in five years, to take concrete action to make sure that it is implemented. In particular, governments should adopt a rights-based approach, empowering young people to claim their rights. Secondly, they must do their own analyses of and then address the barriers that young people face in accessing their rights in their own national and local contexts. Member States must also take into account the comprehensive accompanying explanatory memorandum.
Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, said:
“This recommendation from the Council of Europe has been a long time coming! Young people across Europe are routinely deprived of their rights and so we are happy to finally see some commitment from Member States to tackling this. Now what we want is real action by Governments to prioritising young people and their rights.”
The Recommendation, CM/Rec(2016)7 is available at:https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectID=09000016806a93e2
The explanatory memorandum is available at:https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectID=09000016806a8f5b