4.3 Strategy for the social inclusion of young people
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A Specific National Strategy on social inclusion of young people is not in place. However, the needs of young people in terms of their social inclusion, are addressed in the Strategy on Poverty Reduction and Social Exclusion 2010-2020 (Национална стратегија за намалување на сиромаштијата и социјалната исклученост 2010-2020) which was adopted by the government.
The Strategy on Poverty Reduction and Social Exclusion is a document which reflects the intention of the Republic of North Macedonia for balancing the degree of inclusion and welfare in all social levels.
Social inclusion policy in North Macedonia is formed both on the basis of the need and the opportunity of every citizen finding himself/herself at risk of social exclusion, as well as on the needs of specific vulnerable groups which shall be subject to proposed special measures harmonized with and corresponding to the previously proposed measures and activities. That’s why the Government of North Macedonia adopted some strategies dealing with promotion of social inclusion for a concrete category of citizens (ex. Roma people, people with disabilities).
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy adopted Programme for Dealing with the Problems of Socially Excluded Persons (Програма за справување со проблемите на социјално исклучените лица). The general objectives of the Programme are:
o Termination of the trans-generational chain of exclusion
o Strengthening and supporting the beneficiaries of all target groups in the direction of their active engagement in the life of the community
o Application and testing of new practices for social inclusion of target groups
Target groups of this program are: drug users and their family members; street children / street children and their parents; victims of domestic violence and homeless people.
Currently the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy starting from 2018 – 2024 is implementing The Social Services Improvement Project which is supported by the World Bank. The main objective of the project is to expand the access to social services and improve the quality of social services, including services of childcare and care facilities for vulnerable groups.
The Ministry of Education and Science refers to „promoting the concept of equality and non-discrimination in the education system“ as a priority in its Strategic plan 2020-2022 (Стратешки план 2020-2022 на Министерството за образование и наука)
The Strategy on Poverty Reduction and Social Exclusion, addresses young people’s needs in terms of social inclusion as a general public with certain specific measures only for young people.
The structure of the Strategy is established based on the areas and fields in which poverty and social exclusion are observed:
- Informal economy and strengthening entrepreneurship
- Labor market
- Poverty and social disadvantage
- Health protection
- Long-term care
- Social protection
- Child protection
- Equal opportunities for men and women
- Develop public sensibility for social inclusion
In the first and second part the vision and objectives of the strategy are presented along with the principles upon which it will be implemented. In the third part the conditions, problems and system grounds existing in identified areas are presented. The fourth part includes proposing measures, activities and solutions to lead towards social inclusion and poverty reduction by area. The fifth part presents the strategy implementation, whereas the sixth part includes the assumptions and possible threats. The seventh and eighth parts include the proposed further steps and main conclusions.
The main strategic objective for poverty reduction and social inclusion in the Republic of North Macedonia is: reduce poverty and social exclusion in the Republic of North Macedonia by a better utilization of the available human resources, improve conditions for life, work and social conditions for all citizens, system and institutional coordinated activity in the function of faster development, higher standard and better quality of life.
The Vision of the Strategy is: The Republic of North Macedonia needs to be a society with reduced poverty and social exclusion of its citizens through:
- Providing everyone with access to resources, rights and services which are necessary for equal participation in the society and also take care of the protection and exclusion and combat all sorts of discrimination leading to exclusion.
- Provide active social inclusion of all through promoting equal participation on the labor market and combat against poverty and exclusion.
- Implement policy of social inclusion through well-coordinated programs and measures at all levels of government (central and local) and other relevant factors with efficient and effective public policies including economic, fiscal. Educational and training strategies and projects.
The Mission of the Strategy is to implement the following essential and basic processes:
- Promote and increase opportunities which provide that the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia participate in the educational, labor and general social activities;
- Cope with and reduce impediments for solving specific problems of social exclusion of special groups which face these impediments;
- Promote social inclusion with children and young people which will provide conditions for long-term opportunities for the future generation;
- Strengthen vulnerable communities for quality of life and ability to overcome impediments in their wellbeing.
Due to the complex and multi-dimensional element of the problems previously elaborated, the highest management body, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia needs to be the main implementer and coordinator in implementing this strategy. Certainly, the ministries will need to be the implementers of the individual strategic goals and measures in line with their obligations.
In line with the determined measures and recommendations for the elaborated area, the responsible ministries and bodies, i.e. institutions for implementing the measures and activities proposed in this Strategy on Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion are the following:
- Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Education and Science
- Ministry of Economy
- Ministry of Transport and Communications
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Local Self Government
- Ministry of Information Society and Administration
- Agency of Youth and Sport
- State Statistical Office
- Employment Service Agency
In 2013, one major revision of the Strategy on poverty reduction and social exclusion (2010-2020) was made.
With the implementation of the measures and activities, during the first two years, of the National Strategy on Poverty Reduction and Social Exclusion (2010-2020) certain base results are achieved. In specific this progress is reflected in: increasing employment, number of citizens using social welfare rights and protection, as well as in the area of child protection. Major achievements are made in the field of education by: introducing obligatory high school and dispersal higher education; as well as in the field of availability and usage of information technology. The revision is coming after adoption of new policies that influence the Strategy itself.
The main changes of the Strategy are reflected to:
- amending the strategic goals (to fit to the EU Strategy on development and growth 2020)
- decreasing the number of focus areas from 14 to 7:
- Employment and strengthening of entrepreneurship
- Adjustment of education to fit to the labor market
- Social and child protection, and development of new social model (oriented to an individual and his needs)
- Advancing health protection and long-term care
- Transport, communication and housing
- Activation and strengthening of local authorities
- Support of vulnerable groups.