On the 24th April, the Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth (ACIG) on ‘youth and social inclusion’ was held in Brussels. It brought together policy makers and civil society to discuss what the EU can do to ensure that all citizens reap the benefits of truly inclusive growth. Equinet and partners organised a side event on ‘Ensuring the right of young people to adequate income’.
Nearly 30% of young people (15-29) live at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU (Eurostat 2016). There are in-built age-based restrictions, such as concerning eligibility or adequacy, in a number of countries in what regards both minimum wage provisions as well as social protection such as minimum income schemes. This leaves young people in a particularly vulnerable poverty and exclusion situation.
Together with EAPN, European Youth Forum and ETUC-Youth, Equinet organised a side-event at the ACIG 2017 to explore the discriminations that young people face in accessing adequate income (minimum wage, minimum income and other forms of social protection) and the impact on poverty and social exclusion, quality labour market integration, as well as its role in limiting participation, access to rights and overall quality of life.
It brought together social partners, civil society, national equality bodies, and young people, to showcase examples from different countries and formulate positive proposals around ensuring the right to adequacy of income for young people. Discussions also aimed to formulate key messages for national and EU decision-makers. All organisations present emphasized that young people are not apathetic, but rather have an opinion on decisions that influence their everyday life!
Jessica Machacova, Equinet’s Policy and Membership Officer, presented our recent Perspective on Equality Bodies combatting discrimination against young people. In order to ensure access to dignified income for young people, the Perspective highlights the following: