Regional Policy Forum on Youth (un)employability in time of Covid
Partners Albania for change and development is an independent Albanian NGO working to support civil society and facilitate inter-sector cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development.
Last December, 15 and 16, 2021, during the 10 days of action for human rights and civic space, they held a regional Policy Forum on the Youth situation in the Western Balkan (WB) region. The forum gathered sixty (60) participants from government and public institutions in charge for the youth and employment issues, national statistic offices, researchers, youth organizations, young leaders, experts and media from Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The Forum also served as a venue to present the findings of the Youth Participation Index 2020 (YPI). The YPI is an annual monitoring report in WB countries and Turkey which provides an overview of the political, social and economic participation of youth in these countries.
The discussions highlighted stories from the ground on the experience of shrinking civic space and the pandemic, its impact on youth and civil society. They emphasized the need and the importance of an enabling environment to increase youth motivation and engagement and to implement a human rights-based approach to development.
The conference sent a message of inclusion, harmonisation of policies, and progress to the Western Balkans key players in the youth policies and services. It engaged key institutions and youth organisations in an enriching set-up, allowing them to exchange views and recommend initiatives and concrete actions to decision-makers and influential players.
The Policy Forum proceedings that were developed include concrete policy recommendations and suggestions to improve data collection of the Youth Participation Index.