Participation is a “fundamental right and one of the guiding principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that has been reiterated in many other conventions and declarations”. Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a vital role in their own development as well as in that of their communities, helping them to learn vital life-skills, develop knowledge on human rights and citizenship and to promote positive civic action. To participate effectively, young people must be given the proper tools, such as information, education and access to their civil rights. In order to improve existing public policies that enable youth to be more active, it is of key importance to provide evidence on public policy performance and this is one of the main reasons why the YPI is created. This index of participation of young people is divided into three pillars:

  • Political participation of young people,
  • Social participation of young people and
  • Economic participation of young people.

Political participation

For the purpose of the creation of the YPI, political participation is defined as “those actions of young people by which they seek to influence their governments, politics and public policies that governments pursue”. It includes all the means and ways that could help young people to become actors of their life and of their world, including political institutional democracy, engagement in public and private spaces and online/offline means such as social networks and other means at hand to youngsters to influence political leaders and their actions.

Social participation

Social participation refers to young people’s degree of participation in a community or society, contribution to and staying involved in their society, including social engagement in informal community networks and activities, volunteering, and accessing services (including education, health or welfare services).

Economic participation

Economic participation includes several different types of participation, such as paid employment, training and education, self-employment and enterprise development, as well as micro-finance or other financing schemes at hand to youngsters in their countries.

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