Nice Words but Little Action?
Public policies for young people have undergone a remarkable shift in the past years. In October 2014, 127 of 198 countries had a current national youth policy, more than half of them less than five years old. As these frameworks are changing, so is the role of youth work in relation to youth policy.
Youth policies vary remarkably in approaches, frameworks and implementation: some are built around the notion of youth rights, while others rely on the needs of young people; some can barely conceil the attempt to control young people, while others mean to encourage independence; some treat youth work as the carrying notion, while others consider it an afterthought.
Through the fact sheets for every country that our research team has developed over the past three years, we have for the first time assembled a wealth of data about the approaches of governments to youth policy and youth work that covers the entire globe. In our contribution to “Connecting with and Confronting Inequality - the Role of Youth Work” we would like to present first findings from our cross-cutting analysis of this unique data set with a focus on the competing understandings, roles and functions of youth work around the globe and map these findings against a set of socio-political aspects for comparison.