As part of the project “Empowering young people at risk of social exclusion”, in the period from 5 -7 th of July, 2019, a regional training network on public advocacy and improvement the position of children and young people at risk, was held.

During the training, the participants have been working on development of a common platform on which their future work, regarding youth at risk, will be based. Also, participants have been working on development of a common advocacy plan for all target groups covered by the project: youth and children in conflict with the law, youth and children who use drugs, young people living in families with a history of conflict with the law and / or other use, children and youth with street experience, young Roma and youth leaving formal care.

The idea of the regional training was to gather representatives of the national working groups and representatives of organizations in a joint regional meeting and create a kind of regional body that will continue to oversee the effects of the project once it has been terminated. Since the project contributed to the creation of numerous policy documents, guidelines and manuals, the working body will also be involved in the continuation of the promotion of the good practices created through the project.

The fact is that Western Balkan countries are facing similar social problems, due to state systems’ similarity, especially in terms of mechanisms and approaches towards youth-at risk and the level of CSO and state cooperation within this area. Comparative experience of the CSOs in WB region creates a space for a natural synergy and this cooperation represents a great opportunity for all interested parties.

Regarding that, the aim of the training was to investigate relevant regional stakeholders to work together, increase capacities and define joint models and standards for successful cooperation (advocacy for policy changes, quality improvement of services provided by both the CSOs and the state).

The Regional body will aim to continue promoting the results of the ARYSE project and to advocate for adequate exemplary guidance created through this project. In addition, the regional body will constantly work to share information and examples of good practice, with the aim of improving youth policies at risk and making services available to them.