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Inclusion and diversity

We are all different.

Where we come from, our ethnicity, religion, the language that we speak, our gender, our sexual orientation, all contribute to our unique identities.

While there are some challenges that all young generations have to face, the diversity of Europe’s young people also shapes many different realities and experiences.

The European Youth Forum recognises that for some young people, it can be even harder to overcome barriers to accessing their rights due to the discrimination and prejudice that exists in our societies.

We fight to protect the rights of all young people and will always strive for an inclusive Europe that promotes equality and justice for all.

What needs to happen?

  • All young people must be free to express their own identity and governments and institutions must ensure official recognition and adequate representation of minority groups.

  • Governments and institutions must implement policies and legislation to tackle age-based and multiple discrimination and provide straightforward and accessible mechanisms for reporting discrimination.

  • Governments and institutions must ensure effective prosecution and punishment of violators of anti-discrimination law.

Our must read!

Find out more about intersectionality, and how age, together with other personal characteristics, can result in young people having to face additional obstacles in accessing their rights.

Why are young people affected?

Young people are often grouped together as a single, homogeneous demographic defined exclusively by age. In reality, age often intersects with other grounds of discrimination, disproportionately affecting certain groups of young people. Some examples:

  • According to our research, when looking for a remunerated job, 18% young people say they experience discrimination because of their ‘young age’, both alone and in combination with other grounds, such as gender (16%), ethnic origin (7.2%) and language (7.8%)

  • Recent data from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency shows how Young people experience the highest levels of discrimination across all age groups within the LGBTI population.

According to recent surveys, 95% of Roma youth have observed and encountered discriminatory words, behaviours and gestures directed at Roma, while 68% have encountered racism while attending school/university.

Related news

formal and non-formal education

Calling for access to education, civic space and funding for young people and youth organisations in Türkiye

Publication - 21/04/2023

The European Youth Forum and our member organisations urge the government to strengthen access to education and adequate housing, civic space and funding for young people and youth organisations in Türkiye.

Youth rights

Mainstreaming youth rights in the UN human rights mechanisms

Publication - 10/10/2022

This paper analyses the extent in which young people’s rights are accounted for under three of the UN’s human rights mechanisms: the Universal Periodic Review, the UN Treaty Bodies, and the UN Special Procedures.


Making Digitalisation Work for Young People

Publication - 25/08/2022

Young people today are the first generation to have most of their lives reflected in online data, raising concerns about privacy, safety and wellbeing.