Youth Committee

EDF Youth Committee is the voice of young people with disabilities inside EDF. Its role is to ensure that EDF's work takes into account the perspective of young people with disabilities but also to represent young people with disabilities in both EDF and external events.

In order to ensure the place of young persons with disabilities in EDF’s decisions and activities, the Chair of the Youth Committee is co-opted to the EDF Board.

How does the Youth Committee work?

The Youth Committee follows a triennial action plan, which is linked with EDF triennial strategy (current plan concerns 2015-2017). The Youth Committee:

  • has annual meetings
  • communicates regularly by email
  • participates in relevant European conferences and events

The Youth Committee is elected every 4 yeasr at the same time with the EDF Board of Directors. The next elections will take place in 2017. EDF Youth Committee has provided great support to EDF with expert advice on mainstreaming the rights of young people with disabilities in EDF's work.

The Youth Committee has good contacts with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and regularly participate in meetings of the Council of Europe for young people. The Youth Committee has also signed Memorandum of Understanding with the European Youth Forum to insure that the voice of young people with disability is heard in the general youth movements and the Chair of the Youth Committee participates to events organised by the Youth Forum.

What is the main role of the Youth Committee?

  • To mainstream youth in all EDF's policies and documents
  • To raise awareness about the needs of youth with disabilities.

In the context of the ratification of the United-Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) by the European Union (EU), EDF underlines the importance of mainstreaming disability in all areas concerning youth as there are evidences that young persons with disabilities experience discrimination and face additional barriers in most areas of society.

What is of utmost importance for young people with disabilities?

  • PARTICIPATION: Involvement and consultation of youth with disabilities, as well as organisations representing them, should be enhanced at all levels: local, regional, national or European.

  • EDUCATION: Education must be recognised as a fundamental right meaning that young persons with disabilities have the right to receive education at schools and universities of the same quality as any other person, as well as access to life-long learning.

  • EMPLOYMENT: Having a job is one of the most important aspects of social inclusion and independent living; EDF considers that promoting and guaranteeing access to employment and occupation is a key issue of higher relevance for young persons with disabilities.

  • NON-FORMAL EXPERIENCES: Non-formal experiences sometimes represents the only way to participate in and show solidarity to society for young persons with disabilities as they are excluded from formal education.

  • HEALTH AND SPORT: promoting the objective of healthier and more sportive behaviours for all young people, including young persons with disabilities, should be strongly encouraged.

Image gallery:

Group photo of EDF Youth Committee with EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis