European youth, between hope and despair

New Caritas report on youth poverty in Europe includes recommendations for the 2020 strategy

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According to Eurostat, 1 in 3 young people in Europe suffer the consequences of poverty. In this publication, Caritas Europe offers the conclusions of the information gathered through the social action of its organisations with young people from 17 European countries.

Thanks to the information gathered through their organisations in 17 European countries, the report demonstrates the growing social exclusion of young men and women, whose rights of access to basic social rights such as housing, employment and education are violated. According to the data, the situation is particularly alarming among young people belonging to certain groups, to whom the 2008 crisis has affected in greater depth: single-parent families, migrants and refugees, the Roma population and people with disabilities. In addition, the report alarmingly shows the existence of intergenerational transmission of poverty in Europe, which is transmitted from parents to children, adversely affecting their futures.

Among other issues, Caritas highlights:

  • The urgency of guaranteeing the right to housing.
  • The need to systemically improve school-to-work transitions
  • The lack of effective regulation of working conditions and job insecurity, which makes many young people remain poor despite having a job.
  • The exorbitant increase of youth indebtedness, which also reduces their opportunities for the future.

Social policies should take these facts into consideration: promote work-life balance, the inclusion of young migrants and the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. In this sense, the Youth Guarantee is an important plan for youth employment, although Caritas recommends a better balance of employment and social protection measures, essential to ensure the opportunities of certain groups (…)

The report, European youth, between hope and despair, has been prepared by the Fresno team, who has also managed the collection and analysis of data in different countries.