Council of Europe adopts first Recommendation on Youth Work

Council of Europe adopts first Recommendation on Youth Work

Youth work plays an invaluable role in empowering and engaging young people across Europe –and this is now officially recognised by the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe!

On May 31st, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a first comprehensive Recommendation on Youth Work. It is a historic step towards broader recognition and support for youth work and youth organisations, acknowledging the countless positive outcomes they create for individuals, their communities and for society in general.

The Recommendation has been adopted after a lengthy 18-month drafting process, involving multiple consultations with a broad range of stakeholders.

Through the Recommendation, the Committee of Ministers express the belief that:

  • the sustainability of European identity and the Council of Europe’s core values (human rights, rule of law and democracy) relies on the creativity, competences, social commitment and contribution of young people and on their confidence in the future as well;
  • government policies should support young people in realising their full potential as autonomous members of society, enabling them to develop life plans and exercise their democratic citizenship;
  • youth work makes an important contribution to active citizenship by providing opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes for civic engagement and social action.

The document sets out recommended actions for governments of Member States to support youth work, including:

  • Ensuring that the establishment or further development of quality youth work is safeguarded and pro-actively supported within local, regional or national youth policies, as appropriate. Taking into account the diversity of youth work across and within member States, special attention should be paid to the need for strategies, frameworks, legislation, sustainable structures and resources, effective co-ordination with other sectors, as well as to related policies that promote equal access to youth work for all young people. Youth workers and young people should be actively engaged in any planned measures for implementation;
  • Establishing a coherent and flexible competency-based framework for the education and training of paid and volunteer youth workers that takes into account existing practice, new trends and arenas, as well as the diversity of youth work. Stakeholders, including youth workers and young people, should be involved in developing this framework;
  • Supporting the development of appropriate forms of review and evaluation of the impact and outcomes of youth work and by reinforcing the dissemination, recognition and impact of the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio in the member States.

Read the full Youth Work Recommendation here.