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Youth and Health-an overview from the European Youth Forum

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Title: Youth and Health-an overview from the European Youth Forum


1
Youth and Health-an overview from the European
Youth Forum Laura Cottey Member of European
Youth Forum Working Group on employment and
social affairs Europe Region World Association
of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)
PRESENTATION
2
What is the European Youth Forum?
  • The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is a European
    youth-platform independently established by youth
    organisations, it is made up of more than 90
    National Youth Councils and International
    Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, which are
    federations of youth organisations in themselves.
  • It brings together tens of millions of young
    people from all over Europe, organised in order
    to represent their common interests.
  • Representation, internal democracy, independence,
    openness and inclusion are among the main
    principles for the functioning of the European
    Youth Forum and its Member Organisations.

3
Our Vision and Mission
  • Our Vision
  • To be the voice of young people in Europe,
    where young people are equal citizens and are
    encouraged and supported to achieve their fullest
    potential as global citizens.
  • Our Mission
  • To be an independent, democratic, youth-led
    platform, representing national youth councils
    and international youth organisations from across
    Europe.
  • The Youth Forum works to empower young people
    to participate actively in society to improve
    their own lives, by representing and advocating
    their needs and interests and those of their
    organisations.

4
  • The European Youth Forum is for the
    empowerment of young people, so that they can
    exercise their rights and become active citizens.
    To do this we work to ensure young people have a
    say in the policies that affect them.

5
Our Aims
  • Increase the participation of young people
    and youth organisations in society, as well as in
    decision-making processes
  • Positively influence policy issues affecting
    young people and youth organisations, by being a
    recognised partner for international
    institutions, namely the European Union, the
    Council of Europe and the United Nations
  • Facilitate the participation of young people
    through the development of sustainable and
    independent youth organisations at the national
    and international level
  • Promote the exchange of ideas and experience,
    mutual understanding, as well as the equal rights
    and opportunities among young people in Europe

6
Our Methods
  • The European Youth Forum lobbies on behalf
    of youth organisations on four levels EU-level,
    at the Council of Europe, at the UN and among
    other actors in civil society.
  • We ensure that young people participate and
    play a role in EU, UN and CoE decision-making
    processes with regards to all the issues that
    affect them. Particularly youth rights, youth
    participation, Non-formal education (NFE) and the
    social inclusion of young people

7
Why focus on health?
  • Health is a key issue for society as a whole but
    there are certain health threats that affect
    young people more specifically than other
    segments of society
  • There is also an acknowledgement that there is
    benefit in addressing health issues and promoting
    healthy lifestyle early in life to achieve a
    lifelong healthy lifestyle

8
YFJ Position on Health and Well being of young
people
  • YFJ believes that all young people,
    regardless of their economic situation or
    residence status, sexual orientation or ethnic or
    religious background, marital status, gender, age
    and disability, should be entitled to healthcare
    and social protection.
  • We also believe that health is
    intrinsically linked to other issues such as
    social inclusion, equality and sustainable
    development.

9
What are the issues facing young people?
  • Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
  • Mental Health
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Addictions
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles
  • Youth-Friendly healthcare systems
  • Access to health care

10
Our Activities and Actions
  • The YFJ works in various different ways to
    address these issues, two important notable
    examples
  • engaging with youth organisations
  • representation of young people at EU level,
    particularly in active partnership with DG SANCO

11
Non-Formal Education and Youth Organisations
  • Key actors in young peoples health
  • YFJ holds capacity building events for
    youth organisations

12
Youth organisations can
  • Provide young people with appropriate education,
    information and skills to enable informed and
    responsible health choices
  • Enable young people to become involved in all
    decision-making and policy processes which
    determine the nature of information and services
    provided for them
  • Enable young people to talk openly about health
    issues which are important to them with their
    peers and in a safe environment
  • Reach out to other sections of the community eg
    parents, schools, etc to raise awareness about
    health issues

13
YFJ actions and activities
  • Alcohol
  • -Alcohol Policy Youth Network
  • Mental Health
  • Lobbying and advocacy work on an EU level
  • SHRH
  • Youth Link-partnership project with International
    Planned Parenthood Association
  • Tobacco
  • Coordination of youth projects in Help campaign

14
Be Healthy, Be Yourself

The Youth Health Initiative of the European
Commission began in 2009 with the "Be healthy-Be
yourself" conference, organised with the European
Youth Forum and DG SANCO.
http//ec.europa.eu/health-eu/youth/index_en.htm
15
Be healthy, Be yourself
  • Goal of the initiative is to actively involve
    young people in health promotion
  • A youth camp was held before the conference
    allowing young people to debate the issues
    important to them
  • The conference was a big success and a youth
    health roadmap of actions was drawn up as a
    result of the discussions

16
Take home message
  • Hopefully the activities and actions I have
    mentioned will highlight the importance of youth
    participation and involvement in health
  • Young people have to be active partners rather
    than a demographic to be legislated on to ensure
    healthy lifestyle choices
  • The key to healthy young people is youth
    empowerment, allowing young people to tackle the
    issues behind health problems such as inequalities

17
Nothing about us, without us!
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