On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the Council of Europe with the support of the City of Strasbourg, the French Ministry of National Education and Youth and the European Youth Forum is holding the “Enter! Youth Week: our rights, our lives” from 8 to 11 July 2019 in Strasbourg.
Held under the French Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Youth Week is bringing together some 250 young people and youth workers from some 50 countries, along with representatives of local and regional authorities and youth organisations to discuss their experiences and expectations about access to their social rights.
They will notably review the process of the implementation of the Enter! recommendation on access of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to social rights, adopted in 2015 as a response to the fact that these young people are more vulnerable to all kinds of risks, including poor physical and mental health, substance abuse, self-harm, violence and exclusion. The Recommendation calls on member States to put in place sustainable policies taking into account the situations and the specific needs of the young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, in order to prevent and eliminate poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion to which young people fall victim.
“The right to decent housing, and quality education, and proper healthcare, and social security and employment – all of these are important aspects of protection against poverty”, said ”Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe in her opening speech. “These rights are not an indulgence, nor are they designed for a select few. Where countries have adopted them, they are there in law for the benefit of every single person – male or female, young or old, rich or poor.”
“Young people are the future, but above all they are the present. Young people are mobilized across borders, which is why they must have their place in the multilateralism embodied by the Council of Europe. The goal of the Enter! Youth Week is to give voice, listen to them, and together design solutions for today and tomorrow,” said Gabriel Attal, State Secretary of the Ministry of National Education and Youth of France. France, he said, is fully committed to ensuring social justice for all young people, wherever they live. “Education and commitment are two essential vectors for bringing social justice to life.”
Nawel Rafik-Elmrini, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg and Anja Olin Pape, Chair of the Joint Council on Youth, as well as young activists also took part in the opening ceremony.
Conclusions of the Enter! Youth Week will be presented during a plenary session on 11 July, at the Palais de l’Europe.