Participation of specific target groups in voluntary activities (September 2019)
One of the core priorities of youth policy coordination amongst EU Member States is to ensure inclusion of and equal opportunities for all young people participating actively in social and civic life. Identifying potential barriers to their participation and introducing measures to address them is essential to foster youth engagement in solidarity and voluntary activities. At the EU level, the European Solidarity Corps within the Erasmus+ Programme promotes equity and inclusion by facilitating the access to participants with disadvantaged backgrounds and fewer opportunities.
The map shows that about one third of European countries have put in place concrete measures to enhance the participation of specific groups of young people in voluntary activities.
In some countries, target groups include young people who encounter particular barriers in accessing volunteering placements because of physical, geographical or economical obstacles. Ad-hoc policy interventions target for example young people affected by disabilities (as in Germany and Spain), youth residing in geographically remote areas (for instance in France and in the United Kingdom), or young individuals whose limited resources make a period of unpaid voluntary work difficult to afford (for example in Slovakia).
In other countries, national policies target young people who can particularly benefit from a voluntary experience to reinforce their social integration, develop their education, or promote employability. For example, special measures are implemented to foster the involvement of youth at risk of social exclusion and early school leavers (as it is the case of Luxembourg), or, as established in Austria in 2019, young refugees and migrants.