TACC Project Statement – IFYD

Today, the world has more young people than at any time in history. Yet, far too many of today’s 1.9 billion adolescents and youth will fall short of potential if current policy and investment approaches fail to meet their needs. Youth and adolescent voices must be at the center of decision-making processes that concern the health and well-being of young people, their empowerment and resilience, their education and skills, and their connection with people and the planet. 

Throughout the past 2 years, the consortium of youth organisations from 7 countries of Europe, with the support of European Union worked together as part of the “Take Action, Create the Change (TACC)” project to contribute to the key principles of the European Youth Strategy and the European Youth Goals – to Engage, Connect and Empower by carrying out collaborative and evidence-based activities in the field of youth participation and civic engagement. 

With this statement, we intend to amplify the key findings, lessons learned and advocate for more comprehensive policies to ensure meaningful adolescents and youth engagement across the sectors. 

  • We advocate for policies that prioritize and institutionalize meaningful youth participation at all levels, acknowledging it as a key driver for societal progress – recognizing young people as the agents of change;
  • Political instability, labor market challenges, conflicts, COVID pandemic and other global challenges, as well as the limited space for political and civic participation have led to the increasing isolation of youth in societies. We must unite efforts to ensure inclusion of youth from various disadvantaged backgrounds. Intersectional and Human Rights-Based approaches have to be applied to the policy development and implementation processes at all levels;
  • Organizations and institutions often do not take the necessary measures to provide the most adequate conditions for meaningful and ethical youth participation. Although young people are being engaged at multiple levels, the experience of this is varied and often young people report feeling unsupported, exploited or tokenized, especially in the case of disadvantaged youth. We must speak up against unethical forms of youth involvement;
  • Young people’s time and resources have to be recognized, appreciated and acknowledged, that can also include monetary compensation or other forms of rewards; 
  • We also call for funding practices that are responsive, timely, and sustainable, recognizing the impact of delayed approvals on the effectiveness of youth-led initiatives.  Thus, implementing more efficient and youth-friendly funding mechanisms; 
  • We request the public sector to recognize and value the experiences of young people, bridging the gap between generations through meaningful intergenerational dialogues and breaking power dynamics between youth and decision makers;
  • We demand the increased accountability of the policy funding and implementation processes that directly affect adolescents and youth;

The presented statement upholds the main principles of the Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement. The TACC team also invites everyone interested to use the intellectual outputs of the project, such as the guidance and the comprehensive toolkit in their work. The developed tools aim to answer various underlying questions and provide organisations with specific, practical information and concrete steps on how young people expect organizations to work with them. The guidance speaks not only to young people and youth workers but also to decision makers and everyone involved in the field of youth. 

We once again remind you that there should be nothing about us without us!

By | 2024-01-28T17:56:12+00:00 January 28th, 2024|Categories: Personal Stories|0 Comments

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