Young people with fewer opportunities

Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities

An important priority for the European Union is that the Youth in Action Programme should be accessible to everyone, including young people with fewer opportunities.

Young people with fewer opportunities are young people that are at a disadvantage compared to their peers because they face one or more of the situations and obstacles mentioned in the non-exhaustive list below. In certain contexts, these situations or obstacles prevent young people from having effective access to formal and non-formal education, transnational mobility and participation, active citizenship, empowerment and inclusion in society at large.

Social obstacles

- young people facing discrimination because of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
- young people with limited social skills or anti-social or risky sexual behaviours
- young people in a precarious situation
- (ex)offenders, (ex)drug or alcohol abusers
- young and/or single parents; orphans
- young people from broken families

Economic obstacles

- young people with a low standard of living, low income, dependence on social welfare system
- in long-term unemployment or poverty
- young people who are homeless, young people in debt or with financial problems.


- mental (intellectual, cognitive, learning)
- physical, sensory
- other disabilities

Educational difficulties

- young people with learning difficulties
- early school-leavers and school dropouts
- lower qualified persons
- young people with poor school performance

Cultural differences

- young immigrants or refugees or descendants from immigrant or refugee families
- young people belonging to a national or ethnic minority
- young people with linguistic adaptation and cultural inclusion problems

Health problems

- young people with chronic health problems, severe illnesses or psychiatric conditions
- young people with mental health problems

Geographical obstacles

- young people from remote or rural areas
- young people living on small islands or peripheral regions
- young people from urban problem zones
- young people from less serviced areas (limited public transport, poor facilities, abandoned villages)

Youth groups and organisations should take appropriate measures to avoid exclusion of specific target groups. However, it is possible that young people confronted by one specific situation or obstacle face a disadvantage compared to their peers in one country or region, but not in another one.

The Youth in Action Programme is a Programme for all, and efforts should be made to include young people with special needs.

Beyond accessibility to all, the Youth in Action Programme also aims at being a tool to enhance the social inclusion, active citizenship and employability of young people with fewer opportunities and to contribute to social cohesion at large.

An Inclusion Strategy has been designed for the Youth in Action Programme, as the common framework to support the efforts and Actions which the Commission, Member States, National and Executive Agencies and other organisations undertake to make inclusion a priority in their work.

This information is from the Youth in Action programme guide. You find the full document here:


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