4.3 Strategy for the social inclusion of young people
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The main official document that relates to the social inclusion of young people is the National Strategic Policy for the Reduction of Poverty and Social Exclusion (2014-2024). This document addresses the whole population but regards young people as a cohort that require particular attention.
The document was introduced in 2014 and has a time-frame of ten years, up to 2024.
This document recognises three overarching challenges that underpin Malta’s success in effectively addressing poverty and social exclusion, namely:
- Increasing national sustainable development
- Promoting empowerment and social solidarity
- Consolidating social services.
It focuses on six key dimensions that can determine or alleviate poverty and social exclusion, namely:
- income and social benefits
- health and environment
- social services
The document proposes various strategic policy actions that should be undertaken on each of these dimensions with a view to enhancing prospects for all citizens in general and vulnerable groups in particular. These proposals range from enhancing social protection systems and promoting activation measures to creating more employment opportunities and facilitating mobility and de-segmentation in the labour market. Additionally, there is an addressing of educational inequalities, ensuring equal access to quality healthcare, the promotion of an environmental health friendly approach, decentralisation and integration of social services at community level, development of evidence-based policies and practices that address emerging needs and challenges and the enhancement of the potential for equality and social inclusion through everyday culture.
Hence, the key political objectives of this policy are to provide a policy framework that promotes the well-being and improves the quality of life for all. In particular, it targets persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion, based on the values of solidarity, equality, dignity and respect for fundamental human rights and social justice.
Among young people, this policy targets in particular those who have high levels of school absenteeism, early school leavers and those who lack of vocational training leading to having inappropriate or insufficient skills to enter the labour market. It also highlights young people who have compound disadvantages, such as inter-generational poverty and other structural factors that serve to increase alienation, leading to social exclusion.
The top-level authority responsible for the implementation of this policy is the Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity. However, the strategy has a cross-sector approach and other actors are involved, such as the Ministry of Education and Employment and the Ministry for Health.
The Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity monitors the policy’s implementation through an inter-ministerial committee that regularly compiles reports on the progress achieved in the realisation of strategic policy actions laid down in the National Strategic Policy for Poverty Reduction and for Social Inclusion (2014-2024).
The Strategy was launched in 2014 and has not yet been revised.