Recent data shows a stagnation in Europe’s efforts to advance youth rights and well-being, with no notable progress since 2018.
Europe is now ranked as the second-worst region, after North America. This lack of progress is primarily attributed to the repeated dissatisfaction of young people with the availability of affordable housing.
The United Kingdom and France are among the five countries globally that have seen no improvement in youth rights and well-being over the past decade, according to the Youth Progress Index from the European Youth Forum and the Social Progress Imperative.
The biggest setback is observed in the UK, where nearly 45% of young citizens express discontent with the accessibility of affordable housing. Additionally, young Britons are increasingly dissatisfied with the state of healthcare, air quality, and water quality in their country.
Similarly, satisfaction with housing among the youth in France has declined by nearly 25 points between 2011 and 2022, and access to secondary education remains a concern, with France ranking 48th globally.
The Youth Progress Index highlights that Europe has made no progress in various aspects, including affordable housing, access to education, incidents of violence, and the safety of young women since 2018.
While some individual European countries may have higher rankings, there is a collective call for governments to invest more in areas such as affordable housing and mental well-being.
Andreea-Alexandra Scrioșteanu, a Board Member of the European Youth Forum, emphasizes the importance of public investment in youth and the need for young people to be a higher priority on the political agenda. Without sufficient investment and political will, the current generation risks being left behind.
“Progress depends on the amount of public investment in youth, and how high young people rank on the political agenda,” she said in a statement. “In the absence of both sufficient investment and political will, our generation is being left behind.”
Recent statistics from the EU’s official database, Eurostat, show increased vulnerability to poverty, underemployment, and precarious living conditions among young people. Furthermore, concerns about a decline in democracy and personal freedoms raise alarms.
It’s important to note that the overall trends do not apply uniformly to all European countries. Over the past 12 years, Serbia, Moldova, and Albania have significantly improved the well-being of their young populations.
These improvements are attributed to better access to communication and the internet, improved housing conditions, increased feelings of safety, and relatively easier access to higher education.
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