4.1 General context
Main challenges to social inclusion
In the Slovak Republic, Roma young people are the most at risk of social exclusion, facing multiple disadvantages: low level education achievements, hidden/open segregation in education, high unemployment rates, societal discrimination, inherited poverty, etc.
Young grown-ups leaving the orphanages, re-educational institutions, foster families may face barriers mostly when it comes to housing and employment.
Disabled youths (including young people with visual and hearing impairments) have been considerably disadvantaged while ensuring equitable access to education, employment, own housing, etc.
Recently, young asylum seekers and young homeless people have been listed among the groups of young people the most at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
Definitions and concepts
Many diverse descriptions of social inclusion have been provided by political and scientific papers published in Slovakia.
A considerable attention has been paid to definition of social exclusion, being a prerequisite for social inclusion. Social exclusion is characterised as the inability to participate in social, economic, political and cultural life, due to the following factors: low income, poor health, inadequate education, limited contact with members of the majority population and discrimination (World Bank et al. 2002)
Youth Report 2014 (Správa o mládeži 2014) provides definition of social inclusion of young people: it is a process ensuring that socially excluded persons or those at risk of social exclusion have been offered opportunities and possibilities helping them to fully participate in economic, social and cultural life of a society and live their everyday lives in a way, which is considered a routine. With regard to youth, this process may be understood also as a complex system of interventions leading to creation of opportunities for young people with fewer opportunities.
The Youth Report 2018 ( Správa o mládeži 2018) continues to stress the inclusion as one of the priorities of the policy towards youth in Slovakia. The Analysis of the Need of Young People ( Analýza potrieb mladých ľudí ) was realised under the National Project of the Office of Plenipotentiary for the Civic Society is using also the The Youth Progress Index, wichc is one of the first instruments developed to give the full story of what life is like for a young person today, independent of economic indicators. It brings together reliable, relevant data to give each country a score on how well different countries meet Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity. For the first time in history, young people face the risk of worse conditions than their parents, especially in terms of risk poverty and social exclusion. At the same time they have a very low representation in decision-making processes and often do not even have full access to their rights. The YPI thus is valuable tool to systematically identify and prioritize the most urgent needs of young people,to remove the barriers that young people face, but also to provide resources for shaping better society for young people.