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Safeguarding young people's civic space

Freedom of information and expression is essential to our democracies.

Through civil society, we are able to come together, share interests, concerns and ideas. Collectively, we can help shape the world we live in.

However, civil society organisations, including youth organisations, can also face serious obstacles in their work. Some even experience or fear retribution from their governments when expressing their views.

The European Youth Forum will always defend the right of civil society to create vibrant and open spaces where people can have their voices heard. Youth organisations are invaluable for society and they must be allowed to flourish!

What needs to happen?

  • Governments must guarantee a strong civic space for young people, in which youth organisations can operate autonomously and free from any interference and retribution.


  • Young people’s civic and political rights must be safeguarded by institutions and governments.


  • Governments must be held accountable for infringements on civic space for young people.

Our must read!

When we speak out, self-organise and participate in public decision-making online and offline, we make use of civic spaces.

However, civil society organisations are facing increasing challenges to operate or even to express their views out of fear of retribution.

In the Position Paper on Safeguarding Civic Space for Young People in Europe we outline these challenges and our recommendations to tackle them.

Key Documents and Resources

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