By Equinet staff
Is there light at the end of the tunnel? After campaigning for rails in 2021, the European Commission and Parliament designated 2022 as the European Year of Youth. The goal: creating a better future with young people. This provides an opportunity for equality bodies to instill optimism and fight discrimination against the backdrop of the pandemic.
It may seem that young people are less discriminated but they report more perceived age discrimination than other age groups. One in four people between 15 and 24 have personally felt discriminated against or experienced harassment on one or more grounds in the past 12 months. It is even worse for those belonging to a marginalised group.
Hate speech and other forms of violence is only one of many discriminatory experiences affecting young people in particular. For instance, they may encounter barriers in finding a permanent job, accessing information and healthcare services, or in participating in political decision making. The COVID-19 pandemic
Young people worry about their life ‘stalling’ and a loss of independence. The European Youth Forum reported a considerable loss of work and income as a result of unemployment and reduction in working hours. In Germany, a few cases were recently reported about young people being rejected from a position, paid less and getting less holidays because of their age.
Secondly, cooperate with youth organisations. You get access to a larger pool of knowledge, experience, good practises and tools. You can also reach more youth than you would by yourself, particularly those on the margins of society at risk of experiencing violations of their rights. 2022 is an opportunity to establish many long-term partnerships.
Thirdly, engage with educators and the people next door. If you want them to share more than their story, develop a fair cooperation agreement, offer training and compensate them for their work. There are plenty of ordinary people out there who are not famous but broke stereotypes and inspired others to make a difference, too.