Social Exclusion or Inclusion of Vulnerable Youth in Societies in Transition
Young people are at risk for poverty and social exclusion in all European countries, in particular those who experience what is often called non-linear as opposed to linear transitions from school to work, to independent living, and to establishing themselves in a new family situation. In particular this pertains to youth who are vulnerable at the outset, such as youth formerly in public care, disabled youth, youth with drug or mental problems, ethnic or national minority youth, or refugee and migrant youth. At the same time youth between the ages of 16 and 25 are an extremely important resource for any country, and investing in good services is important for their well-being as well as for reducing more far-reaching effects on a country's welfare and other institutions. Thus, this project addresses (a) what initiatives, both public and NGO-based are actually taking towards including these groups, (b) what interventions seem helpful, (c) what are possible developments of new initiatives, and (d) how do the different countries succeed in engaging the youth themselves as partners?
This project focuses on Eastern European countries, from north to south. There are several reasons for this. First, these are countries in varying forms of transition, where it is important to include youth in developing and building new ways of organizing the societies. Second, these countries do not have establised welfare regimes in the same way as Western European countries, and it is important to highlight possible ways of action when this is the case. Third, it is important to engage with Eastern European countries in order to try to extend the scope of Childwatch in this part of Europe, this, of course, in collaboration with already existing networks in the region, eg. the Central and Eastern Europe Regional Network.
An important part of the project is to formulate initiatives that can be disseminated to public and NGO stakeholders in the participating countries, with the aim of establishing a wider network that can continue working on these issues in their respective countries and also collaborate between themselves.
As per 2010, the project is still under development.
Elisabeth Backe-Hansen, Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)
E-mail: ebh [at] nova.no
Resources on Social Exclusion
See our Youth research page