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Promoting fundamental rights

Youth Forum members plan next steps on Youth Rights

On 1 and 2 July the European Youth Forum’s Expert Group on Youth Rights (EGYR) held its first meeting of 2017 in Brussels. The Expert Group brings together six of the Youth Forum’s member organisations to collaborate on and support youth organisations in engaging with international human rights mechanisms. In order to bring attention to rights violations and highlight shortcomings in young people’s access to rights, the Expert Group will focus on the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review and Treaty Bodies.[1]

The Group hopes to support members in Germany, Russia and Malta, which have an upcoming Universal Periodic Review in 2017-2018, as well as in Cyprus, FYROM and Slovakia that will be reviewed in early 2019. Furthermore, several UN Treaty Bodies will consider reports from Germany, Romania and Moldova in the coming months.

The Expert Group took stock of developments on youth rights since 2015, including key institutional processes such as the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights within the Council of Europe, as well as the UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights. The Expert Group also selected a coordinator amongst its members and Silja Markkula from the Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi will start in this role.

The Expert Group identified several further priorities for 2017:

  1. Participating in and disseminating the consultation to be carried out by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a result of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights;
  2. Exploring the feasibility to prepare another Collective Complaint under the European Social Charter following the one lodged earlier this year on unpaid internships;
  3. Promoting the rights-based approach among Youth Forum members and developing a tool to monitor its implementation in the work of the European Youth Forum;
  4. Promoting and disseminating the European Youth Forum’s tool on youth rights.

[1] More information about the Universal Periodic Review, the Treaty Bodies, as well as other human rights frameworks and processes is available at www.youthforum.org/rights.

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