We all want the opportunity to build the life we want and pursue our ambitions. To have work that pays enough, to be able to afford somewhere decent to live. We should all have access to good education, access to a doctor or the hospital, regardless of our circumstances.
But right now, all over Europe, budget cuts and austerity policies mean these things are not guaranteed for many people.
Almost 25 million children and young people are at risk of poverty. Unemployment across Europe has risen over the last 10 years. Young people, who should be excitedly beginning their career journeys, have been hit hard by this.
It’s hard to afford somewhere decent to live, with too many people living in overcrowded housing or becoming homeless. More than a third of all young adults are still living with their parents because they can’t afford to live independently.
But we can turn things around. Young people across Europe are doing amazing things to shape the societies we all want to live in, like Alejandra in Spain:
“My name is Alejandra Jacinto Uranga, I am 29 years old and I am a lawyer and political scientist.
In order to achieve true social transformation and get access to justice when our social rights are not upheld, we all need to express our opinions on the issues that affect us.
I work in a lawyers’ cooperative (CAES) where we defend civil liberties such as equality, legal guarantees and protection of children, as well as economic, social and cultural rights like labour rights, housing, health, education, environmental health and consumer protection.
My work aims to ensure people in Spain can claim their right to housing through our justice system.
It’s rooted in the idea of social transformation, working through the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform of People Affected by Mortgages) and the Asociación Libre de Abogadas y Abogados (Free Association of Lawyers).
We need to express ourselves when they evict our neighbour, to ask ourselves why rent prices have risen so much, or why we have a precarious job, and why we cannot become independent.
It is necessary to ensure that the right to decent housing – which is a human right – is protected, so that forced evictions without alternative housing are no longer possible and to have a truly public social housing stock, where housing is not seen as merely an investment.
All this will help to ultimately ensure a decent life.”
Together we can challenge our politicians to build better, more equal societies. A major opportunity to do this is just around the corner, with the European elections coming up in May.
You can be part of this change! It’s simple:
- TURN IT UP by sharing this page
- Follow #TurnItUp on social media to see all the awesome things people are doing
- Make some noise about the issues you care about and tell politicians what you want by voting in the European elections.