European Youth Forum: Lisboa +21: the good, the bad and the hopeful
“Youth policies must be driven by a rights-based approach!”
This was the message that the European Youth Forum brought to the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, that took place in Lisbon. Ministers and Youth leaders from across the globe gathered for 2 days to participate in the Conference of Ministers and its parallel Youth Forum, organised by the Portuguese government and the Portuguese National Youth Council. We thank them for the efforts to organise such milestone event.
The outcome was the adoption of the Lisboa +21 Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes.
The European Youth Forum welcomes the adoption of the Lisboa +21 Declaration as an encouraging and positive step forward to recognising that young people’s rights have not been fully realised. Importantly, the Declaration moves in the direction of an inclusive and comprehensive approach to youth policies within the framework of the 2030 Agenda, with a call for an evidence-based approach to youth policies. The document also recognises young people as agents of change, and their contribution to peaceful societies in line with the UNSCR 2250 (2015) and the UNSCR 2419 (2018). The Member States present committed to designing and implementing policies that fulfill and protect youth rights, including the right to participation.
It’s not all good news, however. The Declaration lacks a clear focus, bringing attention to a wide variety of policy areas, rather than concentrating mainly on the principles and standards that quality youth policies should respect. Despite a welcome reference to implementation and monitoring systems and review mechanisms for the implementation of the Declaration, it does not provide sufficiently forward-looking, clear and targeted guidance on how to meet the rights, needs and demands of young people through the implementation of the Declaration.
Please find the full statement here.