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Youth work is value based and its core principles are that it needs…

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to strive to enhance young people’s self-determination, autonomy and access to rights.

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The process of personal and social development is directly linked to and interdependent with the gradual increase in self-determination and autonomy. It is through having self-determination and possibility to act in an autonomous way that personal and social development is tested and confirmed in practice. Without self-determination and autonomy, you will never be able to “try your wings and start to fly”.

Due to living situation, lack of knowledge and other reasons, young people often have limited access to their rights. It is therefore a crucial task for youth work to make young people aware of and able to execute their rights. This will, at the same time, make clear that young people are full-worthy (not “to become” or conditioned) citizens to be respected for who they are and not being in debt to society for services offered.



  • In order to promote the work with young people’s rights the European Youth Forum has developed an online youth rights info tool: Promoting youth rights

Guiding questions

To what degree does our local youth work meet this bullet point?

Are there sides/aspects of it that are not reached?
Are there differences related to different activities?
Are there differences related to different groups of young people?
Are there differences related to different youth work providers?
Are there other differences? Related to what?

Specific questions
  • How could we better encourage and support young people to try their wings?
  • How could we better inform young people on their rights?
    • How can we support young people’s capacity to fight for their rights when needed?
  • Are we sometimes ‘helping’ young people in a way that actually prevents them from gaining autonomy?
    • How can we avoid this in the future?
  • Are we sometimes trying to keep young people in staff led activities even if they would gain more from being supported to self-organize?
    • How can we better support young people to organize themselves?


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Good practices & tools

  • Turku Rock Academy

Learn more 

  • Working with Youth as a common framework for cooperation between participating organisations

Learn more

Future steps

What different steps do we need to take in order to meet this bullet point?

Do we miss any knowledge that we need?
Do we need to take contact with stakeholders not present in our discussions?
Do we need to develop new competences, methods, work processes or organisational structures?
Can we find good practices or tools that might help us to improve this?
Do we have positive experiences from other areas of youth work that we can use also in this case?
Are there other organisations that we can contact and learn from regarding this?
Do we need to take other measures?
Do we have to revise our perspectives and/or priorities regarding youth work?

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