IIEP Policy Forum – Paris, 16-18 October 2012 

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Civic engagement

Portrait of Sudanese Youth

Young girl, member of the Parilament of Students in South Sudan. ©UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Civic engagement is increasingly recognized as a powerful, positive tool for re-engaging disenfranchised youth in society and in education systems, allowing young people to build their capacities, make a swift transition to productive work and public life, and contribute to the development of their communities and countries.

There are many young people in the world however, that feel disenfranchised by a system that fails to consider their changing needs. Particularly in industrialized countries, young people in cities often feel alienated and ignored, especially as cash-strapped governments cut back on many youth support programmes (Murray, 2012). This is reflected in urban youth movements around the world that led to widespread political and social changes.

Planning education systems to support young people as leaders and role models in society, both within and outside school is therefore an educational imperative. How can both the policy-making process and policy solutions help facilitate this goal? Join the online discussions that fed into and directed further debates at our Policy Forum. Key recommendations emerging from both these virtual discussions and the event will be taken forward in a number of countries, so we encourage you to continue to speak up now and make sure your voice is heard!

>> Download the Background Paper: Youth Civic Engagement in Non-Formal Education

‘We strongly urge Member States to ensure access to quality formal and non-formal education, including informal education, intercultural education, values based education and civic education, as equal parts of general education.’– Recommendation 7th UNESCO Youth Forum (2011)

The third session of the Policy Forum was devoted to this stream.

To review the material presented during this session, please click on the various presentation documents below:

Presentation by Ms Constance Flanagan, Professor, University of Wisconsin Madison


Adobe PDF LogoSpeech by Ms Michaela (Chaeli) Mycroft, Co-founder of the Chaeli Campaign and winner of KidsRights’ International Children’s Peace Prize 2011


Recommendations coming out of this session:

PPT IconPresentation by Mr Mark Brennan, Professor, Pennsylvania State University


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