Final event

2023-04-03T09:36:58+02:00March 29, 2023|News, News|

An active community to contrast and prevent peer and gender violence represents the final event of the European project "YOUTH FOR LOVE 2", promoted by ActionAid Italy and Afol Metropolitana. The event, which is held on Tuesday 4 April 2023 from 10 am to 1 pm, will present the results of the project and some important reflections that emerged during the activities, around the topics of the different forms of violence at school and outside the school, between students involved and their proposals to counter it. Peer and gender-based violence between teenagers has particularly complex and multifaceted characteristics. It includes different manifestations of physical, sexual and/or psychological violence, such as verbal abuse, bullying, sexual abuse and harassment, coercion and assault, rape. In recent years, and in particular as a result of the pandemic, it become partially even more "invisible", taking place online, with characteristics that make the process of recognition, management and prevention more complex. The different forms of violence often overlap and reinforce each other, and gender is a key factor underlying many forms of violence and discrimination. YFL2 is part of a four-year Italian and European programme, implemented in Italy by ActionAid and Afol Metropolitana. At the European level it has been developed and implemented by ActionAid Hellas (Greece), UC Limburg (Belgium), and Fundatia Centrul Partenariat Pentru Egalitate (Romania). It is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Program of the European Union. The general objective of the project is to prevent, detect and address peer violence and gender-based violence (14-18 years) in 5 communities from 4 European countries (Italy, Belgium, Greece and Romania). Youth 4 Love 2 has promoted the adoption of a global and multilateral approach involving actors who generally do not cooperate with each other such as young people, parents, professionals in the education sector (school and community), associations, representatives of private services (private and tertiary sector), public services and authorities (public sector) at local and national level. download the program

FLEMISH WEEK AGAINST BULLYING – From 10 to 18 February 2023

2023-02-15T15:40:31+01:00February 15, 2023|News, News|

Join the Flemish Week against Bullying too! In Belgium, the Flemish Week against Bullying is organised every year to connect schools, clubs and associations to tackle the issue of bullying. The aim is to make bullying negotiable and thus prevent bullying as much as possible because the consequences of bullying are usually very serious. Together, we make it clear that bullying is unacceptable. All information on initiatives can be found here:


2023-03-31T14:31:37+02:00January 18, 2023|News|

The educating community tunes in, the students take the stand Last year, the students involved in the activities of the project, undertook a path of training and awareness on issues related to the prevention and combating of gender-based and peer-to-peer violence at school. In this second year of the project, the students’ work focuses on their activation inside and outside the school, hence in the educating community, to advance activities of prevention and combating gender-based and peer-to-peer violence among adolescents. Since last year, in Italy the project has been implemented in the cities of Milan and Rome. In the last few months, community workshops were held, where students collectively presented to representatives of the educating community the first results of their work of the last two years. Boys and girls shared the results of their research concerning the perception of the educating community towards the phenomenon of gender-based and peer-to-peer violence. After this presentation, which in both cities brought interesting results, the participants were divided into working tables in which they tried to think about how youth leadership can prevent and combat gender-based and peer-to-peer violence at school and on the ground. From this moment of discussion and reflection there was a very strong need to: training and awareness-raising activities for teachers, school staff, parents and students on the theme of gender-based and peer-to-peer violence that can be taught by the students themselves with the support of institutions and associations of the educating community working daily to prevent and combat this phenomenon; school as a training ground for democracy, a safe space for all, in which the voice of young people is heard and considered, a place capable of protecting and welcoming diversity, all with the approval of protocols and procedures for preventing and combating gender-based and peer-to-peer violence; physical and non-physical spaces allowing students to express themselves, find themselves, discuss, share, design, propose and participate; lively spaces that are safe for all, suitable for all and that respect and welcome diversity. Based on these points, the students of the schools involved will work in this month on the development of campaigns and advocacy actions with the aim of achieving common ground for the prevention and contrast of gender-based and peer-to-peer violence not only within their school, but also in the educating community in which they are part of.

“YOUTH FOR LOVE – THE GAME” New stories and new characters

2022-05-24T17:40:17+02:00May 24, 2022|News|

In this second edition of the Youth For Love project, "Youth For Love - The Game", the online game aimed at boys and girls to test themselves and learn how to deal with gender-based violence, peer violence, bullying and cyberbullying, is a must. This virtual way allows them to experience first-hand potential but realistic situations of abuse, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying and understand how to respond and how to adopt respectful and fair behaviour.  New characters and new stories: how does the game evolve?  In the second edition of Youth for Love - The Game, new characters join Amar, Sofia, Lucas, Yasemin, Maria, Lyn and Georgios who were the protagonists of the first edition of the game. the 6 new characters to identify with are: Stef, Sabine, Andy, Robert, Lisa and school aide Mark. The protagonists of these new stories introduce the lens of intersectionality, showing how the elements that characterise the social and political identities of each person should be valued and not exploited to justify discrimination and acts of violence. Inclusion, fear of being oneself, misunderstandings, quarrels, chat room discussions, youth activism and participation are some of the topics brought by the new characters in the 6 new webgame stories.  During the game, girls and boys, through the interactions and crossroads choices they will make, will experience real, everyday situations at school, in the park, in group chats and at home that can turn into potential incidents of violence, bullying or cyberbullying. Players, therefore, will direct the story by choosing and testing the consequences of their choices. With the mediation of a moderator, it will also be possible to comment and share on social media the outcomes of the stories experienced and the choices made. Surfing and playing, the gamer can see the levels of soft skills acquired: from recognising the dynamics and phenomena of peer violence, to learning how to handle situations, to knowing how to react to situations by applying the skills acquired.  Now it's your turn, play the Youth For Love webgame!  The aim of the game is to recognise the signs of peer violence and bullying in contexts that young people experience on a daily basis and to encourage reflection on situations and choices to be made.   

New ‘sex law’ approved by Belgian Federal Parliament. Much more in line with 21st century sexual morals!

2022-08-26T17:18:31+02:00March 18, 2022|News|

Late Thursday evening, the Belgian Federal Parliament gave the green light for a modernisation of sexual criminal law. This should not only provide better protection against sexual violence, but also adapt our laws to the sexual morals of the 21st century. Belgian Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne talks about a milestone, but what will actually change? Why was this change necessary? Our current penal code dates back to 1867 and is therefore not at all adapted to social reality. While it is estimated that eighty women are raped every day, the sometimes very unclear legislation and difficult burden of proof still make it extremely difficult to prosecute the crimes. The law book was therefore in urgent need of updating. Also to change many archaic concepts such as 'assault on the integrity of the person', which will soon become 'violation of sexual integrity'. Vivaldi therefore wrote the renewal of sexual law into the coalition agreement. What will change? Central to the new legislation is the concept of consent. Without consent, sexual acts are punishable. The fact that someone does not resist does not mean that they have consented. Another new feature is that consent can now be withdrawn during sex. This is to prevent, among other things, stealth: someone who suddenly takes off the condom without consent and continues having sex. Another phenomenon has also been tackled: spiking. This involves putting a narcotic in the drinks of women in order to rape them afterwards. From now on, this will be an aggravating circumstance, just like threats, incest, sexual violence by a partner, a discriminating motive, abuse of authority, sex in the presence of several persons, sex with minors or abuse of a person's vulnerable situation. The age of sexual consent remains at 16, but young people between 14 and 16 can have sex with mutual consent. As long as there is no more than three years difference. Although sex between two people aged, say, 14 and 18 will still be covered by the legal cloak of love. Voyeurism will be defined differently from now on. In order to speak of voyeurism, victims no longer need to be bared. Last year, a voyeur who filmed under skirts was acquitted, because the intimate areas of the victims were not bared and, according to the letter of the law, no crime was committed', says Van Quickenborne. So that changes. Will the punishment be stiffer? Certainly. The penalties will go from one month to five years to six months to ten years. So the maximum sentence for rape will be doubled. If there are aggravating circumstances, another five years will be added. Judges will also have more opportunities to impose therapy, for example, when sentencing. What about sex workers? The new Penal Code partially decriminalises sex work. Currently, there is a policy of tolerance, but no legal framework for those involved, so that sex workers cannot, for example, take out a mortgage loan. Or that anyone who works with them - bookkeepers or drivers


2021-02-25T13:36:58+01:00February 25, 2021|News|

Harmful gender stereotypes are significantly limiting children’s potential, warns a landmark report from the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood. The Commission was established by leading gender equality campaigning charity, the Fawcett Society, and calls for changes in education, parenting and the commercial sector. Read the full article here (The Fawcett Society)


2023-07-07T12:37:50+02:00October 8, 2019|News|

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive phenomenon that concerns especially - but not only - girls and women from all sectors of our society, regardless of their age, nationality, ethnicity, class, or cultural background. It takes place everywhere: at home, at work, in the street, in leisure and sports venues, online, and at school. Indeed, one in three women in the EU has experienced either physical and/or sexual violence during their life time since the age of 15.  Adolescent students experience GBV at school as victims, as perpetrators, or as bystanders. Schools can be a severe distress to students who are psychologically, physically, cyberly shamed, harassed, bullied, assaulted, or abused. UNESCO estimated that around 246 million girls and boys are subjected to some form of GBV in and around schools every year at the global level.  Yet, schools can and should be spaces where adolescent girls and boys feel safe because gender equality is fully promoted through prevention programmes and easy-accessible, child-sensitive, and confidential procedures to report, respond, and refer GBV cases are in place. Schools are indeed key actors to make gender inequality and GBV unacceptable among adolescents in strategic partnerships with key local stakeholders.  Youth for Love is implemented within the legal and conceptual framework provided by the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (2011), known as the Istanbul Convention. The Iatter recognizes GBV as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination and, therefore, as a cause and a consequence of inequality between women and men. It also acknowledges the crucial role of schools in enhancing the promotion of equality between women and men; non-stereotyped gender roles; mutual respect; non-violent conflict resolution in interpersonal relationships; gender-based violence against women; the right to personal integrity, through teaching material adapted to the evolving capacity of learners, in formal curricula and at all levels of education (Art. 14). Youth for Love employs the following definitions of the Convention ratified by all project partners’ countries:   “Violence against women is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life” (Art. 3, a);        “Gender-based violence against women shall mean violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately” (Art. 3, d); “Women includes girls under the age of 18” (Art. 3, f); “Gender shall mean the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men” (Art. 3, c). Bullying is the most prevalent form of violence in schools, regularly affecting more than one in three students between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide. It is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power that can

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