14 POINTS
OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF UKRAINE


#14POINTS
National Youth Council of Ukraine (hereinafter - NYCUkraine) attempts to establish in Ukraine environment, where the rights of every young person will be respected and everyone will have equal opportunities in order to fully disclose their potential in the professional and personal spheres. And, in order to begin the process of approaching to a such conditions, NYCUkraine developed Recommendations to the Strategy of development of state youth policy for the period till 2030 - "14 Points" and advocates it on the different levels.

In the context of upcoming extraordinary elections to the Verkhovna Rada, National Youth Council of Ukraine appeals to the political parties, that are running for Parliament with a proposal to include "14 points" partially or fully into their election programs to take into account the interests of young Ukrainians.

The youth component in party programs that have already been realised, if at all, only indirectly. That is why the National Youth Council of Ukraine proposes political forces our expertise in the field of youth legislation.

Recommendations of NYCUkraine "14 Points" were developed with taking into account international experiences and with the involvement of foreign experts, engagement of representatives from youth NGOs, based on the values of democracy and the rule of law, taking into account peculiarities of Ukrainian legislation and best international practices. Part of these recommendations was developed by members of Ukrainian NGOs and field experts during the three-day strategic session in Kyiv, after which the document was opened for online commenting during one month, and the offline discussion was also held in 15 regions of Ukraine. This made the document more representative, taking into account the opinion of all young people, and not just the member organizations of the National Youth Council of Ukraine.



1. YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES
  • Review of norms and rules, which regulate youth projects that are implemented through the State Treasury Service of Ukraine;

  • Increasing expenditures on youth in the budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine for the joint effective implementation of programs with civic organizations at the partnership level;

  • Development of a flexible mechanism for administering funds by volunteer organizations. The introduction of a mechanism to support administrative expenditures for youth workers in youth-led civil society institutions. Reforming the mechanism of redistribution of funds between items of expenses, depending on the needs of the organizers on their bank accounts;

  • Review the Model Regulations on the Establishment of Youth Advisory and Consultative Bodies at the regional and local levels to engage young people in the decision-making process at the partnership level, and not counseling;

  • In order for youth at the national and local levels to have real levers of influence in decision-making on youth policy, monitor the implementation plan of youth programs and have opportunity to develop and propose normative acts on the principle of subsidiarity. These levers of influence should be developed by specialized institutions in cooperation with representatives of civil society institutions and the National Youth Council of Ukraine and its members;

  • Ensuring equal access of all youth organizations and unions to resources at all levels, as well as simplifying the mechanism of administering municipal budgets to support public organizations, that work at the municipal level and providing state subsidies, changes to the budget code for the implementation of programs at the municipal level;

  • Conducting educational work on opportunities for youth participation in public life: teaching civic education in educational institutions, information campaigns on the coverage of youth interaction tools with authorities at the national, regional and local levels;

  • Identification of youth as a priority of the State Fund for Regional Development, which was created to accelerate the socio-economic development of the regions of Ukraine and opportunities to start financing regional development projects in Ukraine on a competitive basis and in accordance with regional development strategies and action plans for their implementation;

  • Provision of subventions in the amount equivalent to 1 million euros per year for holding all-Ukrainian and international events within the framework of the Youth Capital of Ukraine competition and is offered to cities that will receive the status of the Youth Capital for youth activities.
2. ENGAGEMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS
  • Broad introduction of political education among youth within the development of non-formal education with involvement to this process of youth NGOs, in particular youth NGOs/wings of political parties. Such educational programs should not support any of the political forces or ideologies, but only give the general knowledge of the political process;

  • Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Civic Associations", the Law of Ukraine "On Youth and Children's Civic Organizations", the Law of Ukraine "On Financing Political Parties" to enhance the capacity of organizations involved in the implementation of political education;

  • Introduction of political science in the school curriculum as a separate compulsory subject, or teaching of the basics of political literacy within the framework of law or history subjects. Political science can also be introduced as optional courses, in the form of discussion clubs, electives or debate clubs;

  • Development of a legislative framework for the activities of youth organizations of a political orientation, which should include the definition of youth political organizations and their funding base (which can be provided by the Fund for financing political parties or youth public organizations);

  • Recognition of political youth organizations as the wings of political parties, and their registration in appropriate way;

  • Introduction of a quota for young people in party lists and the creation of a youth advisory body in political parties that submits draft laws on youth to the party for taking into consideration;

  • Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine to grant voting rights in elections from 16 years;
3. SECURITY AND ECOLOGY
  • Strengthening the capacity of youth organizations dealing with peace, security, humanitarian and environmental issues, as well as strengthening the capacity of institutions that interact with young people in these areas and develop interpersonal contacts;

  • Implementation of UN resolutions 2250 and 2419 in Ukraine and the establishment of an effective national action plan for the introduction of these documents;

  • Development of the action plan for the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and a mechanism to support its implementing at the level of different departments;

  • Development of the action plan in order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the gradual elimination of the use of fossil fuels and the full transition to renewable energy by 2050 to mitigate the effects of uncontrolled climate change;

  • Introduction of European directives on monitoring the state of the environment and controlling emissions from industrial enterprises, obtaining free access to information on the state of the environment and the opportunity to participate in decision-making on the construction and operation of hazardous industrial facilities.

Безпека та еклогія
4. FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION
  • Introduction of the system of anonymous assessment of the quality of teaching in educational institutions to improve the provision of educational services in higher and secondary education institutions;

  • Establishment of independent anonymous mechanisms, where each school or university student can report corruption in his or her educational institution to eliminate any corrupt manifestations in the field of education;

  • Implementation of an autonomous system of VET - Vocational Education and Training by introducing changes to the Law of Ukraine "On vocational and technical education";

  • Introduction of the mechanism of registration of students' self-government bodies in the NGOs of student self-government;

  • Reforming Vocational and technical education in Ukraine in order to implement the first workplace guaranteed by the Law of Ukraine "On the social formation of youth" with anchoring to the state order in accordance with market needs;

  • Recognition of non-formal education in Ukraine and defining of its practical mechanisms through the introduction of amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Education";

  • Development of the system in which the courses of non-formal education are necessarily taken into account by the employer and are noted in the workbook, or its analogue;

  • Creation of a system and a participatory institute that will be engaged in the analysis and verification of non-formal educational programs, as well as support of the process of their development. Such institution can verify the system of non-formal education with the possibility of confirming the passage of all non-formal educational programs, issuing official "books of non-formal education", which may include information about attending trainings, courses and seminars;

  • Creation and implementation at the national level of a curriculum for representatives of non-formal education and working groups assessing its effectiveness;

  • Development of awareness-raising campaigns at the national, regional and local levels aimed at disseminating and developing non-formal education and involving in it non-governmental organizations;

  • Application of European Youth Forum mechanism for assessing the quality of the implementation of non-formal education.
5. GENDER EQUALITY
  • Elimination of all forms of discrimination against young women and girls in Ukraine;

  • Implementation at the state level of the Istanbul Convention and CEDAW and the establishment of an effective national action plan for the introduction of these documents;

  • Development and improvement of the state strategies, which are aimed the enforcing laws guaranteeing gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls at all levels;

  • Adoption of quotas for women in leading positions in youth policy agencies and institutions, as well as in the public sector and equalizing incomes of men and women, who work in similar positions in relevant institutions;

  • Development of state support programs for young women, who start their formation as young specialists or are renewed at workplace after maternity leave;

  • Introduction at the national level programs to stop gender-based violence, especially with regard to women who suffer from armed conflict.
6. INCLUSION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
  • Educational activities to combat discrimination and stigma against vulnerable groups of youth;

  • Support at the state level of youth NGOs, whose activities are aimed at increasing tolerance, conflict prevention, and the development of intercultural and interreligious dialogue;

  • Creating and expanding opportunities to control propaganda in opposition to the ideas of violence, extremism and radicalization;

  • Lowering the level of intolerance of certain groups of Ukrainians to representatives of other denominations through the abolition of the optional course "Fundamentals of Christian Ethics" in schools;

  • Implementation of elective courses in schools "Philosophy, Ethics, Morality", "Religious Studies", "Human Rights", "Gender Equality and Tolerance", "Conflictology and Building Peace";

  • Equipment of all educational institutions in cities and communities and the training of specialists to educate children and youth from all groups, who may be discriminated;
  • Development by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine of the elective for specialists who, in their educational activities, may face young people practicing risky behavior;
  • Establishment of an effective state monitoring mechanism for control of inclusive legislation in order to address the problem of non-compliance with construction norms or to simulate the employment of people with disabilities for the realization of quotas implemented by relevant laws;

  • Application of the principle of universal design and architectural accessibility in the planning of architectural plans of municipalities, the construction of all structures at the expense of taxpayers, taking into account the recommendations on the inclusiveness of the living space;

  • Involving civil society representatives to promote inclusive policies, so youth NGOs can work on language simplicity, audit infrastructure accessibility for people with disabilities, and implement informal education programs aimed at increasing respect for the rule of law and tolerance in society.
7. YOUTH HEALTH

Ensuring universal coverage of all citizens' health services, including young people, and providing access to quality health services and safe, efficient, high-quality and affordable essential drugs and vaccines for all groups of youth;

Providing young people with universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning services, information and education on sexual health in educational institutions, as well as taking into account the issues of protection of youth reproductive health in the state strategies and programs;

Implementation of youth-oriented services in the field of mental health, through the creation of opportunities for young people to appeal to specialists or use services focused on issues of mental health;

Development of a state program for young people, which will include informing about the need to support their mental health, expanding access to mental health services through the creation of a clinics' map that young people can access;

Opening of the state hotline for young people in need of urgent psychological help;

Providing support to NGOs and charitable foundations that deal with youth mental health issues to expand their activities.
It is necessary to choose a visual aid that is appropriate for the material and audience.
8. ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EMPLOYMENT
Creation of a qualitative career counseling system at the state level, to increase the number of employed youth;

Creating a system for encouraging employers to recruit young people in need of social inclusion (people with disabilities, graduates of residential institutions, drug addicts and other vulnerable groups);

Creation of a business incentive system in cooperation with educational institutions for the organization of internships;

Introduction of dual education in Ukraine;

Changes to the Tax Code of Ukraine to reduce the tax burden on youth-friendly business and business-driven young entrepreneurs;

Development of the mechanism of state support of youth entrepreneurship at the stage of business creation;

Simplification of business registration procedure, expansion of online business opportunities by means of electronic signature;

Establishment and financing by the state of the system of local business incubators in communities.

9. ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION

  • Creation of infrastructure for equal access to the Internet and all online information in all regions and settlements of Ukraine, development of Internet communication infrastructure for young people at places of service provision and educational institutions;

  • Creation of an online information resource for youth, which will be collecting and publishing youth information, and provision of financial resource for its development;

  • Creation at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of a working group of representatives of civil society that will control the authenticity of information disseminated in youth channels and cross-sectoral platform for communication between structures that inform youth and provide services to young Ukrainians;

  • Conduct a broad public discussion to develop action plan for the implementation of the European Youth Information Charter by all institutions that provide social services for young people in Ukraine.
10. YOUTH MOBILITY AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

  • Involving youth from small cities and agglomerated hromada (united territorial communities) in youth activities aimed at mobility through non-formal education;

  • Development of the youth information platform "Eurodesk" at the municipal level; info-points of the project can be integrated into the system of youth infrastructure, education system and network of reference schools;

  • Creation of a program of regional exchanges in Ukraine and expansion of cooperation with different countries for the development of international exchanges, through their transparent funding;
  • The accession of Ukraine to the non-profit program "Erasmus +", implemented by the European Union for the development of youth mobility and the expansion of cultural ties. It is important that within the framework of the program, Ukraine could host international guests, creating interesting opportunities and programs for students from other countries;

  • Supporting the international cooperation platform for municipalities, introducing new types of cooperation on urban development and exchange of experiences between twin cities;

  • Introduction of the state funding of the program for the United Nations youth delegate at the state level, and implementation of the experience gained by UN delegates at the municipal level in Ukraine.

11. YOUTH WORK AND VOLUNTEERING
  • Adoption at the legislative level of various forms of youth work, implemented on the basis of youth NGOs, youth centers, charitable organizations and foundations, social services and educational institutions;

  • Engagement non-governmental, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, on the basis of which youth projects for youth and involving young people are conducted, in the process of developing and implementing youth work. The financial basis for the organization and development of youth work should be provided by the state;

  • Recognition of youth work on the state level, while youth workers should be recognized as workers of youth centers, leaders of youth NGOs, charity organizations and foundations working with youth and youth issues, and other persons, who provide young people with services guaranteed by their basic rights. In particular, the young people who are joining the state program "Mentoring". Also, all those who provide youth services (police officers, doctors, social workers) and working with young people must pass a recognized informal educational program "Youth Worker";

  • Creation of a state order for volunteer activity, taking into account the example of the Peace Corps.
12. YOUTH HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE
State refusal from the State Fund for Youth Housing Development Program and the development of a thoroughly new approach for providing youth with housing;

Creation of a state program that will provide housing for young people on preferential terms, from a special youth housing fund, including those linked to the first workplace.

Transfer the issue of providing youth with housing to the municipal level within the process of decentralization.

13. YOUTH POLICY IN THE FRAME OF DECENTRALIZATION
  • Encouraging youth to collaborate with local authorities at the partnership and dialogue level through the creation of Youth Governments that are guided not from the center, but at the field;

  • Creating opportunities in the frame of decentralization for all agglomerated hromada (united territorial communities) to join the initiative "Child and Yotuh Friendly Community", the methodology of which is developed by United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF in partnership with civil society. The methodology of the program can also form the basis for the formation of priorities for children and youth in individual communities;

  • Identifying of the youth component as a priority in developing a policy of decentralization by the State Fund for Regional Development.

14. CULTURE AND YOUTH

  • Involvement of young people in cultural processes at the local, regional and national levels, in particular, strategic planning of cultural development at the municipal level, as well as at the state as a whole;

  • Creating a mechanism for involving young people in improving the work of state and municipal cultural institutions and developing specialized cultural programs with the possibility to be the main implementer of social order.

  • Creation of a separate project competition at the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine for NGOs working in the field of culture and ensuring conditions for cooperation of such organizations and ministries at the partnership level;

  • Implementation of individual grants for youth by the State Cinema Agency;

  • Providing state support to young people involved in cultural practices, such as scholarships for young Ukrainian artists, musicians or writers;

  • Creating a mechanism for increasing the youth's ability to use the opportunities of the program "Horizon2020", to effectively implement the Ukrainians' access to the program.
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The materials were prepared as part of a youth advocacy campaign funded by UNICEF and the EU.
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