Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

New data finds Europe’s ‘stall’ on youth rights and wellbeing with no progress at all since 2018.

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The UK and France are among the five countries globally that have made no progress over the past decade on youth rights and well-being, new data has revealed. 

European Youth Forum and the Social Progress Imperative’s collaborative Youth Progress Index has placed Europe as the second worst region – behind North America – citing “repeated failure in young people’s satisfaction with availability of affordable housing”. 

The most evident stall can be seen in the UK, according to the new report, with nearly half (45%) of young British citizens not satisfied with the availability of affordable housing. 

Young Britons are also getting increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s healthcare, air and water quality, it adds.

Satisfaction with housing among the young French population has decreased by almost 25 points between 2011 and 2022. Access to secondary education is also a concern, as the country is ranked 48th globally. 

European governments are ‘failing young people’

According to the index, Europe has made no progress since 2018, across 60 aspects such as affordable housing, access to education, violent incidents and young women’s safety. 

Although individual European countries are ranked higher, governments should have invested far more, especially in affordable housing and mental well-being, according to Andreea-Alexandra Scrioșteanu, Board Member of the European Youth Forum.

“Progress depends on the amount of public investment in youth, and how high young people rank on the political agenda,” she said in a statement. “In the absence of both sufficient investment and political will, our generation is being left behind.” 

Latest figures available on the EU’s official database Eurostat have indicated increased vulnerability to poverty, underemployment, and “precarious” conditions amongst youths. 

Backsliding on democracy and personal freedoms is equally worrying, Scrioșteanu said, adding “governments are failing young people” across Europe. 

The overall trends however are not applicable to all European countries. During the last 12 years, Serbia, Moldova, and Albania have improved significantly for young people’s wellbeing. 

Improved access to communication and the internet, suitable housing, increased feeling of safety and relatively better access to higher education have contributed to the improvement, the report added.

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