Promoting young people's self-reliance and independence and facilitating their transition…

A key factor in achieving this sub-objective is education, in all three dimensions: formal, non-formal and informal learning. The aim of enhancing the participation of young people, which is presented below, refers to formal education measures for the cultivation of citizenship (e.g. the role of political / state study in schools).

In the context of promoting youth autonomy, emphasis is placed on non-formal and informal learning and, in particular, on youth work, which, among other things, contribute to: raising awareness among young people about their rights and obligations as active citizens and, on the other hand, the endowment of young people with skills, knowledge and attitudes consistent with the ethos of an inclusive and open (tolerant) society.

In order to support this sub-objective, the following steps are considered necessary:

1.1.1. Increased opportunities for non-formal and informal learning in the context of youth work, aimed at not only the organized, but also the non-organized youth, as well as the young people with fewer opportunities.

1.1.2. Strengthening the role of youth organizations as providers of non-formal and informal learning for young people.

1.1.3. Supporting the profession and work of youth workers through targeted initiatives such as creating an integrated institutional framework for the profession of youth worker in our country (e.g. recognition and certification), ensuring appropriate education and training for youth workers, etc.

1.1.4. Development of mechanisms to recognize the knowledge, skills and competences acquired when young people participate in non-formal and informal learning activities.

Monitoring indicators

  • Number of non-formal and informal learning programs implemented by youth organizations or youth work, as well as the number of beneficiaries of the programs.
  • Percentage of young people who have received some kind of certificate, diploma or other formal recognition for their participation in non-formal and informal learning, including programs carried out within the European Voluntary Service (EVS).
  • Number of measures and initiatives to support youth work, including relevant legislative interventions.

Education empowers young people, supports the development of their skills and makes them capable "managers" of themselves. This way, education contributes substantially to strengthening the sense of self-confidence, self-empowerment and self-management of young people (autonomy).

Also, educated young people have the ability to make better decisions about different situations in their lives and, therefore, have an increased chance of making best use of their abilities as well as of being successful in their professional life (economic independence).

Because this sub-objective is also included in the objective of Affordable and Quality Education-Training-Apprenticeship, it will be analyzed in that particular section.

Affordable transport is a very important factor for economic and social well-being. It means that young people - even those with low income - will be able to reach their workplace as well as health and education services, but also other social activities and destinations (all of these constitute "opportunities" for young people).

Access is therefore the ultimate goal of any transport, with only a few exceptions in which transportation is an end in itself (for example, making a tour of a historical route). Undoubtedly, expensive transport services prevent vulnerable groups from accessing the above activities / opportunities, while further aggravating the conditions of poverty they may face. Thus, affordable transport is directly linked to the social integration of young people. In view of the above, it is necessary to ensure the following:

1.3.1. Affordable or free transport for pupils and student youth.

1.3.2. Affordable or free transport for vulnerable groups of young people (e.g. young people who are unemployed, with disabilities, etc.).

1.3.3. Affordable transport for young people serving in the armed forces.

1.3.4. Eliminate effectively all the barriers and obstacles faced by young people with disabilities in their access to public transport, their environment, facilities and services open to the public (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 9) .

1.3.5. Facilitate the mobility of young people within the European Union, including young people with disabilities.

Monitoring indicators

  • Number of beneficiaries of measures to support economic (and/or free) public transport.
  • State expenditure to support affordable (or free) mobility of young people.
  • Number of transport operators who offer affordable (or free) transportation to young people.
  • Percentage of disabled people traveling by public transport, as well as frequency of their movements.

The access of young people to Arts and Culture as actors (i.e. active participants and creators) or users (i.e. consumers of cultural products) is a fundamental right as well as an essential condition for the full participation of young people in society. It strengthens young people’s awareness of the fact that they share a cultural heritage, while at the same time, promotes active citizenship.

In addition, engaging in cultural activities enables young people to express their creativity, contributes to their personal development and enhances their sense of belonging to the wider political community. Without access to and participation in cultural life, young people are unable to develop social and cultural links with the society in which they live and to coexist with all other members under conditions of equality. In short, access to Arts and Culture for young people should be seen as yet another area of learning and exercising citizenship, which can be supportive of the process of acquiring autonomy. In this light, it is necessary to promote the following:

1.4.1. Implementing measures to facilitate young people's access to traditional and classical forms of art and culture (e.g. visits to places of cultural heritage, visits to museums and galleries, visits to libraries and cultural centers, attending events of performing arts, such as theater, cinema, opera, etc.), as well as to other - contemporary and alternative - cultural activities.

1.4.2. Taking targeted initiatives to strengthen young artists and organizations that support the contemporary creative industries in which the employees are mainly young people.

1.4.3. Promote the mobility of young artists within the European space and foster intercultural exchanges.

1.4.4. Ensure opportunities for access to and participation in cultural activities for specific youth groups: (a) for young people living in remote, rural and island regions where there is no interest in organizing cultural activities during the winter months due to reduced tourism; (b) for young people with fewer opportunities (including the unemployed, those in correctional facilities, migrants / refugees, people with disabilities, etc.).

1.4.5. Develop more cultural actions targeting schools and students.

Monitoring indicators

  • Participation rates of young people in cultural activities (arranged by type of cultural activity).
  • Number of young beneficiaries of measures supporting affordable or free access to cultural events.
  • Number of young people benefiting from the implementation of measures enhancing art creation and government expenditure supporting these measures.
  • Number of students participating in cultural activities at their school.
  • Number of young people benefiting from cultural programs implemented in remote (rural or island) areas.
  • Number of cultural programs for the benefit of vulnerable groups of young people (e.g. people with disabilities, young prisoners, etc.).

First of all, it must be noted that decent living and adequate housing constitute rights recognized by International Humanitarian Law. In addition, access to adequate housing can be a prerequisite to enjoy other important human rights, such as the right to work, health, social security and education. For example, schools may refuse to include students who do not have a fixed residence.

Besides, the fact that a young person acquires his/her own residence constitutes another step towards independence and autonomy. This is because house autonomy is important in a number of ways: it goes together with adult roles such as the management of a household without the support of third parties (parents); it is usually the prerequisite for creating a more stable relationship or starting a family; it is an important event on a symbolic level as it signals a significant change in the relationship between children and parents. Also, when young people do not have the necessary means to acquire housing autonomy, even though they would like it, they may miss important opportunities to access jobs or educational opportunities that would require greater mobility on their part.

Finally, it is important to note that under the Greek Constitution "the acquisition of a home by the homeless or those inadequately sheltered shall constitute an object of special State care" (The Constitution of Greece, 1975, Art21, §4). In other words, the state must take all necessary measures - on legislative, administrative and financial levels - to ensure access to adequate housing for all vulnerable and marginalized groups and for all those affected by natural or other disasters (floods, earthquakes, etc.).

In this context, the following must be pursued:

1.5.1. Applying measures to support accommodation rental for students as well as for vulnerable groups of young people (e.g. unemployed, disabled, immigrants, Romani, etc.).

1.5.2. Building of more student residence halls to meet high demand.

1.5.3. Improving residence and living conditions in existing student homes through better maintenance and upgrading of building infrastructure, setting up facilities to improve the accessibility of disabled people,

1.5.4. Improving residence and living conditions of young people serving in the armed forces.

1.5.5. Improving residence and living conditions of young people in correctional facilities.

1.5.6. Provide substantial assistance for the housing of young couples (e.g. offering more favorable terms on their mortgage, etc.) combined with measures to support the family life of young parents.

1.5.7. Taking measures to tackle homelessness and support the homeless.

Monitoring Indicators

  • Number of beneficiaries and government expenditure on measures to support rental accommodation rental.
  • Number of rooms available in student halls of residence and / or number of students beneficiaries.
  • Carrying out surveys - on a yearly and mandatory basis - to measure the degree of satisfaction of students in terms of housing and living conditions in student residence halls.
  • Conduct - on a regular basis – surveys measuring the attitudes of young people serving in the armed forces regarding housing and living conditions at the armed forces facilities.
  • Number of young couples benefiting from housing policy measures and measures to support family life, as well as the related government expenditure.

Ensuring affordable and free access to health services is a prerequisite for the welfare of young people, as it helps the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of health problems that, if not adequately addressed, are likely to have particularly unpleasant consequences for the subsequent course and development of young people at all levels of social and economic life.

Indeed, the effects of some health problems can be dramatic, affecting not only the acceptance of young people by the society but also their participation in it. We know that some young people with health problems are placed in a state of dependence - in relation to other people or society - which has a decisive influence on their transition to adulthood and the level of their autonomy.

This sub-objective is included in the "Health, Welfare and Well-being" objective, it will be analyzed in that section

Ensuring access to decent and stable (sustainable) work is an important prerequisite for achieving financial independence and is therefore one of the basic needs for a successful transition of young people into adulthood. A critical dimension in this context is the acquisition of stable work.

This is because non-stable work (e.g. casual employment, part-time work, etc.) may: prevent some young people from leaving the family home; influence their decision to start their own family and / or have children; prevent their access to housing loans for the acquisition of independent housing. All this significantly impedes the independence and autonomy of young people. Equally important is finding work that pays a decent wage.

This is because low wages are not enough to achieve real economic independence, and often lead young people to poverty and social exclusion among young people. Finally, not only is access to the labor market capable of supporting the social inclusion and well-being of young people, but also ensures access to a range of labor rights. Young people must be well informed about the existence of these rights in order to be able to claim them.

As this sub-objective is included in the "Decent Work and Youth Entrepreneurship Development" objective, it will be presented in detail in that section.

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