The period of transition between childhood and adulthood is
a crucial time for the development of individuals as fulfilled and
responsible members of society. Young people need to have the possibility
of entering adult life and assuming an autonomous existence through
the exercise of a number of rights, including democratic participation,
the right to further education and training, the right to employment,
housing and social protection, as well as access to information
through the Internet and the right to a healthy environment.
Many of these rights are universal, but the particular situation
of young people makes their enjoyment all the more important for
this population category and represents an investment for Europe’s
future. Despite this generally accepted evidence, young people’s
access to their rights in today’s Europe is complicated by many political,
economic and social obstacles. Problems in accessing higher education
and training, entering the job market and finding affordable housing
are just a few of the difficulties faced. Participation of young
people in decision-making at all levels is also essential for ensuring
inclusive and open democracies in Europe and beyond.
The present report provides an overview of young people’s
access to their rights in Europe and the existing mechanisms for
their implementation. Member states are invited to examine the possibility
of drafting a framework convention on youth rights, using the ten
principles set out in the present text as a guideline.