Toolkit Glossary

Download Glossary
Terms Definition
At Risk of Early School Leaving
'At risk youth'
At risk of early school leaving is defined as "those young people who leave education and training with only lower secondary education or less, and who are no longer in education and training". European Commission

Possible risk factors for young people include:

  • Socio-economic background – Young people who come from low income families and/or have other underlying family issues.
  • Migration or minority background – Young people who are foreign-speakers.
  • Young people who have learning disabilities and special educational needs.
  • School failure (they have earned no ‘pass’ marks or grades).
Youth Forum Youth Forums are structured events led and organised by students within and among schools to express their ideas, opinions and proposals concerning relevant topics with a democratic decision-making process. They build students' capacities to act consciously within and outside schools towards a more democratic and equal society.
Youth Forum Characteristics
  • Brings together young people from different schools.
  • Young people lead and/or support the organisation and delivery of the Youth Forum.
  • Involves learning and action planning about a topical global issue.
  • Increases knowledge and understanding of the issue in participating schools and leads to young people taking action.
Global Citizenship Education Global Citizenship Education is education which enables all young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values needed to secure a just and sustainable world in which all may fulfil their potential.
(Oxfam GB)
Youth Participation Youth participation is seen as youth being actively involved in decision-making and taking action on issues relevant to them. Within formal education, this could be seen as encompassing a learner-centred and participative approach within both the formal curriculum and non-formal or informal learning environment.
(Global Citizenship and Youth Participation in Europe, D.Bourn, 2016)
Transversal Skills
Similar to Non-Cognitive Skills
Commonly used across the EU, these skills are different to 'basic skills' (literacy and numeracy) and include (amongst others): Communication, civic engagement, IT skills, critical thinking, research skills, leadership, team work, global awareness and initiative.
Civic Engagement "Civic engagement refers to the ways in which citizens participate in the life of a community in order to improve conditions for others or to help shape the community’s future". For young people this includes youth participation in decision making processes and strengthening of youth leadership. (Journal of Transformative Education)
Leadership Leadership is the ability to create an inspiring vision of the future, motivate and inspire people and manage the delivery of the vision. This ability makes use of a wide set of skills, such as communication, resilience, flexibility, critical thinking, teamwork skills and many more.
Hart’s Ladder Oxfam defines youth participation as the active, informed, voluntary and meaningful involvement of young women and men in decision-making. Sociologist Roger Hart created a theory around the various levels of children’s and young people’s participation, which is outlined in his ‘ladder of participation’.
Rung 1 to 3 of the ladder identifies levels of non-participation of young people, meaning that they are involved in adult-led processes without any kind of consultation, inclusion or power to take active action even on issues that concerns them. Rung 4 to 8 identifies levels of youth participation, where, step by step, young people become more responsible, initiate and advocate for the actions they stand for.
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO); Civil Society Organisation (CSO); Charity There is no one agreed definition for non-governmental organisation (NGO), charity or civil society organisation (CSO) however for the purposes of FYS-Forums, we define an NGO as citizen-based associations which are not-for-profit and operate independently of governmental influence. NGOs play a critical part in developing society, improving communities and promoting civic engagement.

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) is inclusive of NGOs, trusts, foundations, advocacy groups and international non-state organisations. Civil society as a term used more broadly, includes the third sector of society, which are those CSO's distinct from government and business.

In the UK context, a charity is a legally defined term which is established for charitable purposes and is subject to control of charity law.

Download Glossary
Terms Definition
Gender Gender refers to the social, economic and cultural roles ascribed to people of different sexes, and is distinct from the biological characteristics of being masculine, feminine or transgender.

For example, ‘breadwinner’ is a social and cultural role often ascribed to males. However being the ‘breadwinner’ of a family has nothing to do with a person’s biological characteristics. It is a gender role shaped by social norms and therefore can be changed.

The Sustainable
Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 separate development and environmental goals divided into a total of 169 targets with matching success indicators. The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and are due to be implemented by the countries of the world by 2030. SDG5 targets Gender Equality.

The SDGs are also referred to as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, or Global Goals. For more information, see:

Gender based violence Men and women are at risk of violence for a number of reasons that are not connected to their gender. For example a terrorist attack in a public place could indiscriminately target men, women and children.

Gender based violence is ‘violence directed against a woman because she is a woman or violence that affects women disproportionately’ (Council of Europe). It is an expression of the unequal power relationships between men and women.

For example, the use of rape as a weapon of war is an example of gender based violence. Gender based violence may also be referred to as sexual violence.

Healthy relationships Concern has been expressed by educators that many relationships between young people are ‘unhealthy’. This implies a harmful lack of mutual respect or even consent between partners which is often blamed (rightly or wrongly) on influences such as social media or popular music.

Healthy relationship education is an explicit attempt to support young people entering relationships to develop trust, communication and respectful boundaries between one another. It focuses more on the quality of interpersonal relationships and equality between partners, than just the physical details of reproduction that have often been the basis of ‘sex education’.

Domestic work Domestic work is the unpaid work performed in the home. It is a socially ascribed gender role still frequently applied to women even after they have entered the professional workforce.

Domestic work consists of housework, support work (e.g. supporting the family’s emotional state – ‘wiping up tears’), status production (e.g. bolstering the husband’s career – ‘having the boss round to Sunday lunch’) and child care.

This inequitably leads to women holding ‘two jobs’ – one outside the home and one inside the home. Greater gender equality would see men take on a larger share of domestic work.

Domestic work is also sometimes referred to as domestic labour.

Sexual and reproductive health Good sexual and reproductive health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to have children.

To maintain good sexual and reproductive health, people need access to accurate information and a safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception method of their choice. They must be informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. Finally, when they decide to have children, women must have access to services that can help them have a fit pregnancy, safe delivery and healthy baby (UNFPA).

International Women’s Day On March 8, 1917, women workers in St Petersburg, Russia, began a massive demonstration. This finally led to the overthrow of the Tsar and the events that led to the Russian Revolution of October 1917. As a result March 8 was declared a national holiday in Russia to celebrate women. The day was adopted as International Women’s Day in 1975 by the United Nations.
Sexual exploitation The term ‘Sexual exploitation’ is referred to in Sustainable Development Goal 5.

Sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls are seen to be crimes that are indifferent to national legal systems. They have no foundation in local culture or tradition.

For example, trafficking for prostitution and sexual violence are examples of sexual exploitation. They are classified universally as crimes.

Both boys and girls may be victims of sexual exploitation, however reporting rates for women and girls are significantly higher.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the practice of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons. It is harmful to health, a violation of women’s and girls’ human rights and illegal in many countries. However the practice is rooted in gender inequality and the power relations of many societies, and is difficult to end. Approximately 200 million women around the world have suffered FGM (WHO).
Harmful practices The term ‘Harmful practices’ is used in Sustainable Development Goal 5.

Harmful practices are forms of violence which have been committed against women and girls in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered, or presented by perpetrators, as part of accepted cultural practice (NHS Scotland).

For example Female Genital Mutilation is frequently cited as a ‘harmful practice’. This is because, despite its high level of harm and violence, is has its roots in the patriarchal norms of societies. Historically its perpetrators have seen it as part of ‘culture’ rather than a crime.

Same sex relationship A same-sex relationship is a sexual or romantic relationship between people of the same sex. The status of same-sex relationships varies between countries and societies. In some countries homosexuality is illegal or disapproved of, meaning that same-sex relationships occur in secret or out of sight. Other countries are more tolerant and permit the legal status of civil partnership. Finally, some countries permit full same-sex marriage, which has the same status as heterosexual marriage.

Child marriage Child marriage is the formal marriage or cohabitation union of a child under 18 years old. Child marriage is a human rights violation and, despite laws against it, one in three girls in developing countries are married before the age of 18.

In the UK children may be married at age 16 with their parents’ consent, placing the UK at odds with global norms.

Forced marriage is when duress is used to force a person, usually a woman or girl, to marry.

Suffragettes The Suffragettes were members of women's organisations in late-19th and early-20th century Britain and Ireland which advocated the extension of the right to vote for women. Although the term is historically specific to the UK, it is also frequently used to describe campaigners for the right to vote in other countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest ranking executive or manager of a company. Despite gender equality legislation in the workplace only 9% of CEOs globally are women (Independent, 8 March 2017).
Download Glossary
Terms Definition
Migration Migration is the movement of people for any reason. Migration may either be across an international border or within a country.
Displacement A displaced person is someone who has fled his or her home to escape conflict, persecution or human rights violations.

Displacement may occur within the borders of a person's own country. In this case a displaced person is referred to as an Internally Displaced Person (or IDP).

A displaced person may cross an international border and seek safety in another country. In this case the displaced person may be referred to as an Asylum Seeker or Refugee.

Asylum Seeker An Asylum Seeker has been forced to flee his or her home because of conflict, persecution, or human rights violations to seek safety and protection in another country.

The Dublin Regulation establishes the criteria for determining which EU state is responsible for examining an individual’s asylum application.

Refugee An Asylum Seeker has been forced to flee his or her home because of conflict, persecution, or human rights violations to seek safety and protection in another country.

Such a person may be called an 'asylum seeker' until they are granted asylum status in their destination country. All people fleeing across borders are also generally referred to as 'refugees'.

The 1951 Geneva Convention states that a refugee is a person, who, "owing to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”.

Resettlement Resettlement means the relocation of refugees from a country where they are currently receiving asylum in a refugee camp to another location or country where they will be integrated into society.

Refugees will usually be granted some form of long-term residence rights and, in many cases, will have the opportunity to become citizens of the country where they are resettled.

Xenophobia Xenophobia literally means ‘fear of the stranger’. It refers to attitudes, prejudices and behaviour that rejects and excludes people based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to a community, society or national identity.

There is therefore a close link between racism and xenophobia, two terms that can be hard to differentiate from each other. (Adapted from IOM)

EU Response to Current Situation These resources provide information about the movement of refugees into the countries of the European Union.

EU Migration Crisis: The Inside Story - Documentary in English
(Very useful also to understand how EU Institutions work)

Migration Crisis Interactive MAP
"What do the European Union and its Member States do?"

European Council

Hotspot A 'hotspot' is a new way of managing displaced people arriving in EU countries. It was adopted by the EU in May 2015 and implemented in Italy and Greece from September 2015 onwards.

New arrivals are registered, fingerprinted and detained at 'hotspot' locations pending their asylum claims being assessed. This procedure is controversial as it is weakly defined in law and does not clearly respect the rights of asylum seekers.

For example there are concerns about the guarantees for people to actually claim asylum, lengthy and open-ended detention terms, the use of coercion in fingerprinting and a lack of information for asylum seekers.

Forced Climate Migrants A person forced to leave their home because of droughts, floods, storms and other environmental disasters is known as a 'forced climate migrant'. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 million people may become 'forced climate migrants' by 2050.
Human Rights Human rights are universal and apply to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.

Human rights are respected by many states’ constitutions and by international agreements. The agreement that provides the basis for universal human rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

Article 14 of the UDHR recognises the rights of refugees. Subsequently the Refugee Convention of 1951 further defined the term 'refugee', outlined the rights of the displaced and defined the obligations of states to provide protection.

Reception Asylum seekers have the right to material assistance (called 'reception') while their asylum claims are processed. The level of assistance varies from country to country. However reception usually involves moving from a reception centre to live in the community but without the right to work.

The right to reception ends once the asylum procedure has finished and all possible appeals have failed. In the event of a positive decision, refugees receive a resident’s permit and may start to look for their own accommodation.They also have the right to work and receive benefits.

Following a negative decision, the 'failed' asylum seeker receives an order to leave the territory. This may be done on a voluntary basis or as a forced return. While waiting for an order to leave to be implemented, a ‘failed’ asylum seeker may be detained. Others ‘disappear’ and illegally remain.

For more definitions, you can visit the 'Key Migration Terms' Glossary on the International Organisation for Migration's Website (IOM):

For more references you can visit Council's of Europe website – No hate speech movement