Reduction of inequalities among young people - In details

Justification for objective selection

In modern societies, significant differences are observed in the way young people enjoy a range of social, economic and political benefits. In fact, a significant proportion of the youth population is currently experiencing severe social exclusion conditions with unequal opportunities in a number of issues such as education, the labor market and achieving a living with dignity more broadly.

In general, the term “social exclusion” refers to those procedures that prevent individuals, collegiate bodies and communities from accessing rights, opportunities and resources that are key elements for social cohesion. Although social exclusion is almost exclusively linked to poverty, it is a wider phenomenon of material deprivation, reproduced by specific public policies, laws, institutional practices, organizational behaviors and dominant ideologies.

In this context, alleviating inequalities among young people and their social inclusion are one of the main pillars of EU and the CoE policy. In particular, the EU defines social inclusion as the process that ensures that young people at risk of poverty and social exclusion are given opportunities and resources to fully participate in economic, social and cultural life and to enjoy a decent standard of living and well-being. Social inclusion also means that vulnerable groups and individuals have greater opportunities to participate in decision-making processes on issues affecting their lives while, at the same time, gaining access to fundamental rights.

Among young people facing a greater likelihood of social exclusion, we can identify the following categories:

  • Young people with disabilities or chronic diseases.
  • Young people on the brink of poverty.
  • Young homeless people.
  • Young immigrants, as well as new young asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection.
  • Young Romani people.
  • Young people with substance dependency issues.
  • New offenders, prisoners and released prisoners.
  • Young trafficking victims.
  • Young people with violent or radical behavior (towards undemocratic direction).
  • Young people who face multiple discrimination on grounds of gender, race, national or ethnic origins, religion, sexual orientation etc.
  • Certain groups of young women (e.g. underage mothers).
  • Young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs).

It is clear that, in order to prevent and address the social exclusion of the above vulnerable / disadvantaged groups, a comprehensive approach is needed where horizontal and coordinated interventions are introduced at the earliest possible stages in order to avoid irreversible consequences.

This objective is linked to a series of Sustainable Development Goals and, in particular, to SDG 10 on Reduction of inequality within and between countries.

Sub-objective 6.1: Ensure equal opportunities for young people with disabilities and / or chronic diseases
Sub-objective 6.2: Combating discrimination between young people on grounds of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Sub-objective 6.3: Ensure equal rights for young people with religion or culture-specific issues, immigrants and asylum seekers.
Sub-objective 6.4: Reduce levels of violence, bullying, delinquency and violent (anti-democratic) radicalization of young people and improve the conditions in the treatment of young offenders.
Sub-objective 6.5: Support for young people at risk and adverse conditions.

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