Presentation on theme: "PRESENTATION Youth and Health-an overview from the European Youth Forum Laura Cottey Member of European Youth Forum Working Group on employment and social."— Presentation transcript:
PRESENTATION 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)
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.
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.
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.
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;
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
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
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.
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
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
Non-Formal Education and Youth Organisations * Key actors in young people’s health * YFJ holds capacity building events for youth organisations
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
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
Be Healthy, Be Yourself http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/youth/index_en.htm 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.
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
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