Youth Policy

2012-04-18

Youth Policy

Youth policy can be defined as the entirety of systems and measures, aspiring after the most favorable terms for personal maturity of a young person and successful integration into society. It is generally accepted to refer to structures of assistance (fields of socialization), subsidiary adding to the effort of a person and, especially, of a family, and helping to prepare a young person for independent life. These structures can be divided into informal (friends, contemporaries), non-formal (communities, non-governmental organizations, youth activity system), formal (schools, universities), and commercial (telecommunications, banks, recreation and entertainment industry).

Modern youth policy is developed in the following two main directions:

  • Security of interests of youth in individual areas of public policy – education and science, culture, sports, work and employment, dwelling, health, etc.;
  • Youth work – i.e. non-formal youth education, aiming at enabling young people to learn from experience and experiment (voluntariness, independence, autonomy). Youth activities “reach” young people during their free time, when they are not within the family, at school, or at work. This involves the work of youth staff, education of youth leaders, buildup of youth initiative, development and implementation of civil, cultural, as well as social projects. Non-governmental (youth) organizations, local and religious communities, non-formal youth groups are the best to ensure independence and involvement (in decision-making). Non-formal youth education can (and has to) be carried out by the institutions of non-formal education and culture, established by the government, e.g. municipal youth leisure centers, youth centers, sports centers, cultural centers in the elderships. The field of non-formal education (civil, democratic) is important in the schools for pupils’ autonomy.

In accordance with Article 4 of the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2003, No. 119-5406; 2005, No. 144-5238), Youth policy shall mean a purposeful activity intended to resolve youth problems and to seek to create favorable conditions for the formation of a young person and his integration into public life, as well as an activity, which has the purpose of achieving understanding and tolerance of society and individual groups thereof towards young people.