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- Related Strategy
The Czech Republic does not have a separate strategy for the social inclusion of young people but social inclusion of young people is one of the key objectives of the Youth Strategy 2014-2020 (For further details about the Youth Strategy see Chapter 1.3).
The first horizontal priority of the Strategy is Equal opportunities
Strategy 2020 guarantees the right of every young person to respect, support from the state, and equal treatment. In this context, Strategy 2020 facilitates the full integration of young people into society and gives support to both organised and non-organised young people, and to those who work with them, following the principle of equal opportunity so that they are ensured the same opportunities in everyday life, regardless of gender, disability, race, nationality, religious belief or other discriminating factors.
The Czech Republic has adopted other relevant policy documents in regard to social inclusion and addressing specific risk factors and specific target groups or areas among the youth population:
- National strategy on Primary prevention of risky behaviour of children and youth for the period 2013-2018: primary prevention helps to facilitate social inclusion and prevent social exclusion. It differentiates between selective and non-selective preventive activities and focuses on various subgroups and age groups; for details see 'Related Strategies' below. It does not recall the Youth Strategy, however the Youth department was active during the preparation and is responsible for tasks on non-selective primary prevention activities. The responsible Authority is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
- General Social Inclusion Strategy 2014-2020: this is issue-oriented, particular attention is also given to Children and Youth, Youth from institutionalised care, delinquent youth, the family policy and access to education measures. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs holds authority over the implementation. It does not directly recall the Youth Strategy, nor the earlier State Concept in the area of Children and Youth for the period 2007-2013.
- Strategy to combat social exclusion for period 2016-2020 also deals with issues of social exclusion and poverty and their risk to children, youth and families, and their specific situation in the socially excluded areas. It also targets low-threshold facilities for children and youth, issues of youth criminality, drug abuse, debt, etc. One of the specific goals is also oriented around youth - Specific objective 5.1.5: Reduce the risk of exclusion of children, youth and families in socially excluded areas. There are four indicators of fulfilment: Number of offences committed by children and youth in socially excluded areas, number of prescribed cases of institutional care, number of interventions, number of realised case conferences. It does not directly recall the Youth Strategy, nor the earlier State Concept in the area of Children and Youth for the period 2007-2013. The authority over the Strategy is held by the Governmental Social Inclusion Agency.
- Strategy of Educational Policy of the Czech Republic unt 2020, emphasising lowering the inequalities in access to and within education for all, but especially to young people. For details see Chapters 6and 4.2. The Strategy is linked with the Youth Strategy and the Youth Strategy is considered a tool for better implementation of the Educational Strategy especially in the field of Non-Formal and leisure-based (acc. to The Educational Act) education of children and youth. The authority over the Strategy is held by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
- Strategy of Employment Policy until 2020, National strategy of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, implemented also by the Employment Offices and with co-authority with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Time frame: 2013-2020. Youth is recognised and targeted in order to support employability of disadvantaged groups in the labour market. The main focus on youth is linked with the Youth Guarantee implementation and with the voluntary commitment of the Czech Republic to focus on young people up to 30 years of age. The Youth Strategy is not, however linked or mentioned in the Employment Strategy.
- Social Housing Strategy 2015-2025, Youth is one of the specific target groups with special attention to young people up to 26 years of age, and those leaving institutional care, and the strategy also recognises housing issues faced by young LGBT people. Social Housing or help for housing are also considered as facilities for students, such as dormitories or boarding houses for secondary as well as higher education pupils and students. Youth Strategy as such is not mentioned and linked. The Authority over the Strategy is held by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
- Strategy of Family Policy is a Strategy approved by the Government in September 2017 (actualized in 2019) with a 5-year validity. Every three years a National Report on Family should be introduced, starting in 2017. Each year a report on progress should be created and if necessary the strategy can be updated based on this progress report. The Strategy aims for support and inclusion especially of families with children and with the care of seniors. The target group is a functional family. The National Strategy on the protection of Children's Rights and the National Strategy for development of social services target those families with children at risk. The Family Strategy is cross-sectorial and in accordance with other valid governmental strategies including the Youth Strategy. One element is further developing the measures of the Youth Strategy, namely the introduction of a basic offer of free-time activities for children free of charge in order to ensure quality and accessible care for children and young people.
- Strategy to prevent criminality 2016-2020 is within the scope of competences of the Ministry of the Interior. Although the Strategy is targeted at the whole population, Children and Youth are one of the most prominent sub-groups the Strategy is targeting. From the general Children and Youth population, young people from socially excluded areas and those who became a victim or are at special risk of becoming a victim of any criminal activity are targeted. The Strategy is linked with the National strategy on Primary prevention of risky behaviour of children and youth for the period 2013-2018, but it is not linked to the Youth Strategy 2014-2020.
The Youth Strategy clearly declares the inclusion of young people in the broadest sense of the Concept of social inclusion as one of the basic assumptions of the contemporary Czech policy towards youth. The main part of this document specifies 13 strategic goals of State policy in relation to young people. Strategic goals related to the inclusion of young people are in table 4.3.1 below with the division of responsible Authority on the state level.
As a specific goal, there is the SG 10: To facilitate inclusion of children and young people with fewer opportunities.
The definition of Young people with fewer opportunities used in the Youth Strategy is following the Youth in Action Programme Guide and states:
Young people who are disadvantaged in comparison with their peers, because they face one or more situations and obstacles such as social barriers, economic barriers, disability, educational difficulties, cultural differences, health problems, geographical barriers, etc. In certain contexts, these situations or barriers prevent young people from having effective access to formal and non-formal education, trans-national mobility and participation, active citizenship, empowerment and social inclusion.
Objectives of the Youth Strategy related to social inclusion are threefold:
- To improve access to services in education, employment, health and social care for children and youth with fewer opportunities
- To improve access for children and youth with fewer opportunities to leisure-based and non-formal education
- To encourage the development of skills for children and youth to promote tolerance across cultural and social groups
Among concrete measures for improving the access of children and young people with fewer opportunities, we can find initiatives to improve the access to information by means available to them as well as to support organisations and institutions dealing with children and youth with fewer opportunities regardless of their legal status. The implementation measures should make children and young people aware of their own value and raise their self-esteem. In order to effectively target young people with fewer opportunities, the state should support social activation services for families with children as far as the family has an important influence on the level and attitude towards fully enjoying social and life opportunities.
Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities into leisure based and non-formal education should be implemented by measures such as promotion of the use of cultural, social and educational centres to provide opportunities for non-formal education. Leisure-based and non-formal education projects focusing on the integration of children and young people with fewer opportunities should be supported and further education and sharing of good examples of methodology for children and young people with fewer opportunities should be promoted.
The development of skills for promotion of tolerance across cultural and social groups should be implemented by supporting activities leading to the mutual recognition of traditions and cultures, eliminating prejudice and stereotypes as well as activities leading to the development and preservation of a sense of identity, culture, traditions and language.
Positive personal and professional role models that motivate children and young people at risk of social exclusion to full participation in the educational and employment process should be promoted and disseminated among youth. Sharing of national and international examples of good practice in improving social cohesion should be promoted as well. The development and application of pedagogical approaches in the field of education for tolerance and the prevention of racism and extremism should be stimulated by the promotion. The State should also promote cooperation between schools and educational institutions with organisations and institutions that help children and youth with fewer opportunities.
Table 4.3.1: List of strategic goals regarding youth inclusion and the responsible state Authority
SG 1: To facilitate equal access of children and youth to rights
SG 2: To facilitate equal access of children and youth to information
SG 6: To improve conditions for employment and employability of youth
SG 8: To promote active involvement of children and young people in decision-making processes and in influencing the social and democratic life
SG 10: To facilitate inclusion of children and young people with fewer opportunities
Source: MEYS. 2014. Youth Strategy 2014-2020.
MEYS = Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; MC = Ministry of Culture; MRD = Ministry of Regional Development; MA = Ministry of Agriculture; MIT = Ministry of Industry and Trade; MLSA = Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; MI = Ministry of the Interior
The main responsible state Authority in regard to the Youth Strategy is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and also the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Culture in regard to social inclusion of youth.. Other Ministries are co-responsible for the various sub-themes as visualised in Table 4.3.1. This is especially the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of the Interior.
It can be discussed whether in the case of general priorities such as access to information, rights and participation all relevant Authorities should be co-responsible and thus whether the principle of mainstreaming of youth could be better implemented to all sectorial policies and programmes. The Youth Strategy as such, however, does not require that.
The responsible Authority for other relevant Policy Strategies is mentioned in the short list above.
The Youth Strategy 2014-2020 follows closely on the concept of State policy for the area of children and youth for the period 2007-2013, which also included several goals relating to the inclusion of young people, namely: information about youth and for youth; youth employment and employability; the protection of the rights of children and youth; participation of the young generation in social and political life; young people from ethnic minorities, young migrants and refugees; young people and housing; Youth and family policy, the promotion and protection of the family; Youth, social pathologies, social prevention, and social integration.
Even in this case, it was a document that was built on cross-sectoral cooperation, explicitly referring to strategic and conceptual documents of other ministries, and had defined responsibility for each task by the departments. Some topics are already no longer present in the current Strategy, however, they could be covered by other public policy strategies. All of these areas are covered by the partial documents of other ministries, as shown above and in Chapter 4.2.
The Youth Strategy is not expected to be updated or revisited until 2020 when a new cycle of the Youth Policy with new Strategy is expected to be created based on the evaluation of the implementation of Strategy 2020.
National strategy on Primary prevention of risk behaviour of children and youth for the period 2013-2018
- Through an effective prevention system, operating on the basis of a comprehensive action of all related entities, to minimise and reduce risky behaviour among children and youth.
- A working system of primary prevention coordination on horizontal and vertical levels
- clear coordination mechanisms, roles and responsibilities of individual institutions, including the establishment of rules of communication between them.
- clearly defined transparent legislative coordination mechanisms, roles and responsibilities of individual institutions and their activities.
- Setting up an effective system of education for the primary prevention of risky behaviour for all entities - to participate in primary prevention in use, verification and subsequent implementation of project outputs VYNSPI and VYNSPI II
- Financially secure the area of primary prevention, maintaining a stable subsidy system
- The introduction of a national system for assessing the quality of primary prevention programmes (certifications) for all kinds of risky behaviour, which is designed for all providers of such programmes and which provides a comparable level of these programmes throughout the Czech Republic.
- The general population of children and youth
This is a target group that is not identified according to individual risk factors. The age criterion defines the population of children and youth in the five target groups:
- Pre-school age (3-6 years)
- Younger school age (6-12 years)
- Older school age (12-15 years)
- Juveniles (15-18 years)
- Young adults (18-26 years)
- Specific groups of children and youth
These are groups of children and young people with an increased risk of behavioural problems (e.g. Children from families where there is criminal activity, dependence on alcohol, etc.). This group is targeted by selective primary prevention programmes. NEETs and young migrants are not included explicitly.
- Individuals exhibiting traits of risky behaviour
For example youth experimenting with drugs, truants etc.
This group is focused by programmes indicated in primary prevention.
- Other target groups
- Workers in the primary prevention of risky behaviour
Forms of risky behaviour within the Strategy:
- Interpersonal aggressive behaviour - bullying, cyberbullying, and other forms of risk communication through multimedia, violence, intolerance, anti-Semitism, extremism, racism and xenophobia, homophobia
- Delinquent behaviour in relation to material goods - vandalism, theft, graffiti and other crimes and misdemeanors
- Truancy and failure to fulfil school obligations
- Addictive behaviour - the use of addictive substances, netolism (internet addiction), gambling
- Risky sports activities, injury prevention
- Risky behaviour in traffic, accident prevention
- The spectrum of eating disorders
- Negative influence of sects
- Risky sexual behaviour
- Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
- Strategy is in coordination with the Crime Prevention Strategy for 2012-2015, National Drug Policy Strategy for the period 2010-2018 and the Standards of competences for providers of school-based primary prevention of risky behaviour
- Implementation is ensured by the cross-sectorial and vertical network of
- Regional school prevention coordinator, worker of the office of the Regional authority
- Methodologist of prevention, an employee of the school advisory facility
- School prevention methodologist, teachers at schools and school facilities
- Implementation is supported by the Ministerial subsidy programme for primary prevention
- Evaluation is set up as ongoing complex data collection and analysis from the field.
- Previous Strategies: the Concept of prevention of substance abuse and other risky behaviours among children and youth for the period 1998-2000, 2001-2004, 2005-2008, and 2009-2012.