How to improve the inclusion of youth mobility?

As youth workers and organisations active in the field of youth, our mission is to create spaces where every young person feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive. At the heart of our efforts lies the drive to foster genuine inclusion, especially for those facing significant barriers. 

Recently, at the 2023 annual meeting of the International network for inclusion led by Associazione Joint we delved deep into this mission, exchanging practices, strategies, challenges and innovations to enhance youth mobility projects. The process involved 26 organisations from all over Europe, active in the field of youth mobility and sharing the will of making the Erasmus+ field more inclusive. 

We are excited to share with you two outputs that are the product of this shared process: a guide to the definition of Highly Vulnerable Young People (HVYP) and a Collection of best practices for inclusion in Erasmus+ projects.

Guide to the Definition of Highly Vulnerable Young People

In 2022, through a long research and debate process, the network realised the need of developing an additional definition to categorise those young people who face barriers and have specific needs that go beyond the definition of “Young People with fewer opportunities”, as defined in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, in order to advocate for specific policies and support mechanisms for this target. Therefore, we came out with the following definition for Highly Vulnerable Young People:

A highly vulnerable young person is a person that is living in a situation of vulnerability and who is facing an overlapping of potential exclusion factors, of which at least one is a long-term or permanent condition. Their involvement in mobility activities implies a need for a long term structural support system to be put in place by all partners in the project and promoted by National Agencies and European stakeholders. 

This Guide to the Definition provides 7 practical examples from the field, identifying the main challenges and benefits that could come from involving the target groups that we described in the publication. It wants to be a tool for organizations and youth workers, to become more aware of the situation of HVYP and to advocate at a local, national and international level to increase opportunities for participation for these target groups.

Download the guide and learn more: Guide to the definition of HVYP

13 Good Practices to improve Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges

Involving Highly Vulnerable Young People in youth mobility projects offers transformative experiences, but it also presents unique challenges in ensuring every young person’s participation and well-being. That’s why we’ve decided, inside the network, to design an ideal inclusion path, collecting the best practices of the members of the network, during different phases of an Erasmus+ project. 

We have selected 13 practices that are divided in 5 phases: Recruitment and Selection, Preparation, Implementation, Follow-up, Local and international Networking.This publication wants to provide organisations and youth workers with practical and replicable examples of practices to better include and empower young people facing barriers. In the collection, you will also find the contacts of the organisations who participated, in case you need extra information.

Learn proven strategies to get inspired: 13 Good practices for inclusion

What’s next? 

As youth workers, we play a pivotal role in championing inclusivity and empowerment for young people in our communities. The insights and resources collected in these 2 publications offer us the opportunity to drive positive change in our youth mobility projects. 

Here are a few ways to get started:

1. Embrace Best Practices. Incorporate the strategies outlined in our collection of good practices into your projects. Whether it’s fostering diversity in participant selection or implementing inclusive communication strategies, every step counts towards creating more inclusive experiences.

2. Advocate for HVYP. Familiarise yourself with the definition of Highly Vulnerable Young Persons and advocate for its adoption in your organisation’s policies and practices. By recognizing the unique needs of HVYP, we can ensure that no young person is left behind in our youth mobility initiatives.

3. Collaborate and Share. Engage with fellow youth workers, organisations, and stakeholders to exchange ideas and experiences. By collaborating and sharing best practices, we can amplify our impact and create a supportive network committed to inclusive youth mobility.