The recent EU Youth Report 2015 found that out of the nearly 90 million young people currently residing in Europe, 27 million are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Additionally, 48% of young people with a migrant background were found to be considerably more likely to be at risk of exclusion compared to 28% of those natively born. 
 
The gap in legal education for young people and professionals affected by issues including gender-based violence, forced marriage and marginalisation by public services needs to be addressed. 
 
Recent findings by IARS’ Youth Advisory Board (YAB) found that not only has the formal education system in several cases been found to have not taught students about the concept of discrimination, but also many professionals have insufficient levels of knowledge about discrimination.
 
Cutting edge findings from the Erasmus+ funded ‘Abused No More: Safeguarding Youth and Empowering Professionals’ programme recommends future practice and policy to help protect marginalised young people, aiming to increase professionals capacity in providing successful services.
 
Abused No More (AnM) works to address the immense need for legal literacy, making young people aware of their rights and empowering them to face social injustices and prevent marginalisation. 
 
The IARS Youth Advisory Board is working to spread the knowledge gained from this project, but what can you be doing to help?
 
Train and legally educate young people
Following an event with the Polish partner, the YAB found success by asking young people what discrimination means to them, before providing an explanation of the concept of discrimination. This soft approach will perhaps make young people more passionate to learn about their legal rights and to defend them. 
 
Discussion
A more emotion-led approach in discussing the impact of discrimination on young people would offer young people the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. The Italian project found success in its promotion of empathy in discussion between young people. 
 
Training for professionals
Staff training educates professionals about legal literacy, educating them with such concepts and empowering them to provide their organisations with tools to tackle the marginalisation of young people. 
 
The YAB also found that a training period in London allowed organisations to exchange information about the most effective methods of empowering young people.
 
Support systems
Professionals can support marginalised young people, informing them of and making support systems accessible. For example, the installation of information hubs at schools and the setting up of online tools would allow young people to access guidance and support at a level they find comfortable.
 
 
As Emma Colburn, a young person and member of the IARS Youth Advisory Board said: “The goal of Abused No More is so that these marginalised people will be aware of their basic rights and responsibilities as equal members of society.” Professionals and young people must be educated so everyone can focus on diminishing the risk of poverty and social exclusion that threatens so many today. 
 
For more information please visit the Abused No More website or read the full report here