We are pleased to announce that we are launching the “Youth Interventions” project! Our project focuses on two areas of youth social life in Poland: youth social participation (especially within youth councils) and the labor market.
In 2021, President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda signed an amendment to local government laws, strengthening the position of youth councils across Poland. Since then, youth county councils and youth provincial assemblies have gained their statutory basis. According to research conducted by the Institute (Zapolski, 2022), there were more than 300 youth councils in operation in 2022.
Despite the increase in interest in the issue of the formation and operation of these youth advisory bodies, a major problem causing the ineffective work of these bodies is the lack of relevant legal knowledge on the part of youth councilors. Most often, they are 14- to 18-year-olds, high school students who have served on youth bodies for a year or two. They do not have the relevant knowledge that could allow them to carry out the competencies granted to them by law – for example, giving opinions on local legislation.
Many of the youth councils (but also informal groups) and youth NGOs also face the problem of being marginalized or ignored by the local authorities. It is essential to create mechanisms to empower young people with decision-makers.
The second pillar of the project is the analysis of issues related to the entry of young people into the labor market. The Institute’s research (See, e.g., Analysis of Regulatory Opportunities for Internships, P. Drzewiecki, IREPSO 2021) shows that one of the biggest problems currently present in the social discourse is the issue of so-called unpaid (unpaid) internships and student internships.
The problem of exploitation of young people by business entities is intensifying – hence actions are needed to improve the situation.
The project assumes comparative legal research and socio-legislative monitoring, aimed at developing assumptions (guidelines) for legislative changes in the area indicated above (young people on the labor market).
The project is implemented with the support of the PGE Foundation.