The Advisory Council on youth of the Council of Europe enables youth organizations to share their experiences and perspectives, provide opinions and input on all youth sector activities. It also to ensure that the voice of young people is represented at this level and that young people and youth organizations can fully participate in Council of Europe activities, making the decisions which directly affect them.
There is no need to say that young people of the 21rst century are indeed facing challenges regarding exclusion, discrimination and violence. Institutions, civil society and governments are aware of that. However we still experience some disappointing discussion with Member States when it comes to promote the concept of ‘’democratic innovation’’ (one of the priority of the director general of Democracy of the Council of Europe).
Promoting young people’s access to rights implies that there is a process to enable young people to understand their rights and for those around them to be aware they have rights, which should be respected.
Hence, whose responsibility is it to ensure this process happens?
How can this best be done?
Create something of new and positive value, plainly requires a greater degree of focused engagement than we tend to experience in our normal everyday conversation. The dialogue we want to opens is clearly a lot more of saying our piece and allowing others to say theirs.
The Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe decided to engage more directly with the highest decision making body of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers. In this regard, it is important that a Youth policy needs to be kept high on the agenda in order for young people to access their rights. Promotion, promotion and again promotion – the same amount of work put into the creation of binding /non-binding documents should be put in their implementation.
That is why AC asked the European Court of Human Rights and the European social Committee for a case law compilation and prepared a document intending to plot a strategic way forward to improving the access of young people to rights within the Council of Europe organization.
Author: Mrs Illario Esposito
Member of the CoE Advisory Council on Youth
Ms. Illaria Esposito is a member of the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth and a trainer in Human Rights Education.