EU Youthlab Final Conference on June 8 in Brussels

6 April 2022
The EU Youthlab project - a collaboration between Young in Prison, Defence for Children (DCI) Belgium, DCI Italy and the University of Amsterdam - has entered its final phase and will end in July 2022.

Since the start of the project, we have reached 282 professionals and 32 young people in three different countries. A mini documentary 'Exchanging Perspectives' has been made about the experiences of the youths in training the professionals. This, together with the outcomes of the project, will be presented on June 8 at the project's Final Conference in Brussels. Take a look at the trailer!

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LOOKING BACK: Updates from partners

DCI Belgium is currently organizing the last training sessions of the project. Besides the youth lawyers and magistrates, the team welcomed a group of youth protection social workers in October, addressing the challenges of building a trusting relationship between youth and social workers. In addition to these groups, the Youthlab members were solicited by the General Administration of Youth Welfare to receive a tailored training. The youths will meet with the administration's staff for the first time, and are excited to share their experiences on youth care.

Moreover, the team is working on launching a large survey with the collaboration of the Youth Forum. This initiative will allow us to learn the perceptions and knowledge of 1000 youth about the juvenile justice system in Belgium. The YouthLab members provided valuable input in determining the themes and issues addressed by this survey. 

“What really makes a difference are the eyes, not just the words.” (Professional from Italy)

In October 2021 DCI Italy carried two online training meetings, engaging professionals such as lawyers, honorary judges and magistrates. All those involved have expressed the desire to continue the experience and the possibility for youth to be a permanent presence both in training of professionals and as "mentors" involved in criminal proceedings. The team is carrying out the third sessions of training in Italy - finally in person. The first one was a three hour session in Genova on 22 February, with a final buffet all together.

“In daily life, we  run after deadlines. It is fundamental to take a break, reflect and confront the beneficiaries of our interventions: youth who are protagonists and have so much to teach us!” (Professional from Italy)
Young in Prison
In October, 2021 we organized an online Learning Event to share the importance and experiences of Youthlab with a broader audience, aiming to encourage more organizations and professionals in the juvenile forensic sector to involve youngsters in decision-making processes and training for professionals. In March we organized our final sessions with prosecutors and parole officers. Our members also joined a Youthlab x Role model training by a recruiter Neill Roelofs from Young Capital and actor/director Cyriel Guds, within the theme 'Future jobs: about applying and introducing yourself'.

Next steps
The outcomes of the project will be presented on June 8, at the project’s Final Conference in Brussels. Persons interested in participating in this 1-day conference send an email via info[@]

The main target audience for this event are: judicial training institutions; youth-led and youth-focused organizations working with (previously) incarcerated youth; donors interested in youth-friendly justice systems. 

We look forward to the final conference and hopefully meeting you there!

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