1.2 National youth law
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Specific national legislation on youth exists since 2008 as the Act No. 282/2008 Coll. on youth work supportwas adopted. It regulates the youth work support, non-formal education in the field of youth work, the youth work funding, the accreditation of educational programmes in the field of youth work and the voluntary service within the frame of youth work.
This act defines the basic concepts used in the context of youth work as the youth work itself, non-formal education, the role of youth worker, youth work coordinator and lecturer in the field of youth work. It sets the highest age limit for young people in accordance with European documents for up to 30 years.
It further describes responsibilities and roles of the state, the self-governing regions and municipalities on local level in developing the youth work.
The act also regulates the accreditation of educational programmes in the field of non-formal education for youth. For this purpose the Accreditation committee in the field of youth work was established as the advisory body for the Ministry of education, science, research and sport of the Slovak republic. Its main role is to assess the applications. The accreditation of educational programs should help to build the awareness of contributions of non-formal education in the field of youth work from the view of gained skills and competencies. It represents a tool with purpose of general recognition of those contributions from educational institutions, employers and public.
The act further defines who the young volunteer is, the characteristics of voluntary service agreement as well as the obligations at the securing of voluntary service. However in 2011 the specific Act on volunteering came into force and it regulates the legal status of a volunteer and legal relations when providing voluntary service.
The financing of youth work is established by the act as well. It describes the purpose of subsidies provision, defines the applicants to whom subsidies may be provided and the requirements on application form. The act also regulates the subsidy provision contract. More information on financing youth policy is accessible in the chapter 1.7.
The act has been amended in 2020 as a response to the needs of the youth sector. To the most significant changes belong those regarding the role of self-governing regions and municipalities:
- the position of youth-work coordinator especially in the self-governing regions was established;
- each municipality with the city status is obligated to establish, implement, upgrade the concept of youth work development as a strategic document in the field of youth work and evaluate its fulfilment;
- municipalities at the local level have the possibility of establishing the youth parliament. By the amendment the roles of youth parliament were described as well.
With the amendment of the act the quality label “Modern youth center” was established.
As for the youth work funding there has been simplification in the applying process. The required share on grant financing went down from 20 to 10 % with the possibility of including the value of volunteering.
The English version of the Act from 2008 is available here.