International Youth Day 2020: Youth work organisations giving young people a voice

Fiona Simpson
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

To mark International Youth Day 2020, CYP Now highlights the youth organisations and iniatives working to give young people a voice.

The British Youth Council's Involved scheme allows young people to express their views through Instagram. Picture: BYC
The British Youth Council's Involved scheme allows young people to express their views through Instagram. Picture: BYC

The government “has a responsibility” to give young people the opportunity to help rebuild the UK in the wake of Covid-19, the youth minister has said.

In an article for CYP Now, marking the United Nations’ International Youth Day, Baroness Barran said ministers “want the next generation to be actively at the heart of our decision-making”.

Today (12 August), the UN is championing ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ to highlight “the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes”.

The annual celebration of youth and youth work also seeks to “to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes”, the UN states.

CYP Now highlights the initiatives supporting disadvantaged young people:

Giving young people a voice

Youth work organisations are key to giving children the confidence to speak up and have their voices heard.

As the UK rebuilds following the biggest crisis since the Second World War, youth services are offering young people the chance to share their views on issues including mental health, education and climate change:

Getting back to school

The National Youth Agency has said youth workers are “vital” in helping disadvantaged young people back to school.

Organisations working with young people are offering both educational and holistic support to those struggling with a full return to class in September.

Summer holiday schemes

The vast majority of summer holiday schemes across the UK were cancelled due to the pandemic. 

As lockdown eases a number of organisations have created Covid-safe schemes to support the most disadvantaged children:

Keeping young people safe

According to numerous studies, disadvantaged young people are more at risk from issues including child criminal and sexual exploitation and online harms.

As child poverty rates increase alongside growing youth unemployment, services working to protect vulnerable young people are more vital now than ever:

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