International conference to discuss youth's role in society

  • 2009-11-11
  • By Ella Karapetyan

TALLINN - The future of Estonia, as well as for Europe, depends on its youth. It is for this reason that it is important to recognize young people, as well as to support and encourage them to put their potential to use. This is also to establish opportunities for an effective and mutually considerate collaboration between various social institutions, young people and youth work leaders.
The aim of the conference called 'The Opportunities and Challenges of Youth Participation,' which will take place from Nov. 21 's 22, aims to bring together various youth work leaders as well as representatives from both international and local government institutions in order to collectively discuss young people's role in society, and how to identify opportunities to promote young people's activities on different social levels.

The international conference is organized by the Sillamae Society for Child Welfare in collaboration with Peace Child Estonia and the Integration Foundation, and is financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals as well as by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

One of the aims of the two-day conference is to discuss the question of youth participation at different levels of society, both in the political sphere as well as outside of government.
The main topics of the conference will be the role of government institutions in promoting youth participation, factors which influence youth participation on different levels, young people with lesser opportunities as well as youth organizations as the promoters of development and stability (in Estonia and on an international level), ethnicity and religion (restrictions or opportunities), youth politics in Estonia and Europe and many others.

Presentations will be made by respected experts from the UK and France, in addition to local political figures and youth leaders. The conference will be held both in English and Estonian.
During the conference a representative of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research will speak about the role of government institutions in promoting youth participation in Estonia and Europe. Cristina Istratescu from the University of Sorbonne will give the presentation 'New EU youth strategy - investment and empowerment.'

Katrin Saks, former MEP, will run the discussion 'Do we need politically active young people?' All the guests and participants at the conference will have an opportunity to watch educational films presenting the cross-cultural opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.