Foto omschrijving: Jongen met roze haar in een gang met kluisjes op een middelbare school

Annual Report Youth Monitor 2021 Summary


Author: Ruud van Herk (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport)

The annual report of the 2020 National Youth Monitor, which examined the first five years of the Child and Youth Act, showed that in the period 2015 up to and including 2019 the scores for almost all social indicators were more positive, while youth care use increased to 10 percent among all young people aged 0 to 23 years. In 2020, the year of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the scores for a number of social indicators were less positive and youth care use fell back to the level of 2018.

This year’s Annual Report therefore focuses primarily on differences in the living conditions of young people between 2019 and 2020. Journalist Jan Hendriks also visited seven municipalities to question them about the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic for young people and youth care, and whether they had sufficient data to determine and monitor their policy. New areas examined in the annual report of the 2021 National Youth Monitor include the number of reports of child abuse (discussed in Chapter 3), figures on non-physical sexual harassment (discussed in Chapter 8), and a chapter on monitoring children’s rights (Chapter 11).

How does the 2021 Annual Report compare scores for social indicators with use of youth assistance? First of all, we look at the demographic development of young people, followed by developments in the use of youth assistance, and then we examine the trends in a number of social themes, including children in families on income support, school, work, safety and substance use. The state of affairs of these themes may influence the well-being of young people, which is described in Chapter 10. The state of youth in the BES islands is described separately.

Youth care use and social indicators Youth care use and social indicators 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 9.7% * 10% Youth care of young people under 23 years have received youth care 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 6.2% 6.2% Living and growing up of minors live in a family on income support 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 50.2%* 51.3% School of third-year secondary general students enrolled in VMBO 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 65.9% 68.3% Work of 15 to 26-year-olds have a paid job 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 59.7% 61.2% Alcohol consumption of young people aged 12 to 24 years occasionally drink alcohol 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 9 1.6%* 1.8% Crime of young people aged 12 to 24 years are crime suspects * These figures are provisional

Chapter 2 on demographic trends among young people shows that the share of young people (0 to 24 years) in the population is falling. This is partly due to elderly people living longer. The number of births has also declined, from approximately 200 thousand at the start of this century to around 170 thousand annually in the past four years. The number of births is expected to increase from 2024 to 2035. This increase is partly because there will be more women around 30 years old than currently the case and partly because many people who are now in their twenties are postponing having children until they are in their thirties. The total number of young people will fall slightly until 2027, after which it will start to rise. Immigration is one of the causes of this rise. Compared to 2019, immigration flows of young people from China and India declined. Non-western young immigrants were most often from Turkey and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom (both approximately 3 thousand). Furthermore, the number of teenage mothers has declined by approximately two-thirds since 2000 and was down 1.2 thousand in 2020.

Chapter 3 sets out how the use of youth care developed in 2020, where we can observe a coronavirus effect. The number of unique young people (0 to 22 years) receiving youth care dropped to 429 thousand in 2020, which is 9.7 percent of all young people in the Netherlands. This brought the number back to the 2018 level. This national trend differs per municipality and region. In municipalities such as Urk, Raalte and Staphorst, for example, the use of youth assistance (0 to 17 years) fluctuated around 6 percent of all young people in those municipalities, whereas in the municipality of Tiel it was nearly 20 percent. The differences in the use of youth assistance (0 to 17 years) between large cities were also considerable: in Rotterdam 9 percent, Amsterdam 13 percent and Utrecht 16 percent. A striking development is the reduced recourse to youth assistance. Perhaps young people who regularly use youth assistance felt this need less during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of recommendations in relation to child abuse rose by 20 percent, the number of reports by 12 percent. Because more people were at home during the coronavirus year of 2020, there were also more requests for advice (+45 percent) from non-professionals.

A key indicator for the use of youth assistance is the number of children growing up in a family on income supportnoot1 (Chapter 4). That number of children has declined slightly to 6.2 percent of all children up to the age of 18. However, by the end of 2020, there were also 40 thousand underage children living in families of which at least one parent received a TOZO (Temporary Support Scheme for Self-Employed Persons) benefit. Minors in income support families, more than a quarter of whom are of Dutch origin, often lived with their mother only. The younger the children, the more often their household’s debts were greater than their possessions.

Chapter 5 shows that increasingly few children went to prevocational secondary education (VMBO). The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic were also visible in education. In 2020, school recommendations in group 8 were lower, while the success rates in prevocational secondary education (VMBO), senior general secondary education (HAVO) and pre-university education (VWO) approached 100 percent. Fewer young people were in employment in 2020 and youth unemployment rose for the first time since 2013 (Chapter 6). The second half of 2020, however, showed a partial recovery in youth employment. Young people experienced high pressure of work less often in 2020 than in 2019; among young people not in education the pressure of work was highest among shelf-stackers, social workers, group and residential supervisors. The municipalities with the highest labour participation in 2019 were Veere (85 percent), Urk, Boekel, Staphorst and Reusel-De Mierden (84 percent).

Coronavirus measures, such as closing the catering industry and halting festivals, may be linked to the decline in substance use (Chapter 7). Fewer 12 to 17-year-olds drank alcohol in the past year, and the percentage of excessive drinkers decreased among 18 to 24-year-olds. There was also less smoking among young adults, with the exception of a growing number of young women (18 to 24 years) who used cannabis in the past year.

In 2020, the figures on (juvenile) delinquency showed a fall (Chapter 8). Pickpocketing in particular showed a strong decrease. A new item in the Annual Report is victimisation of non-physical sexual harassment. One in five young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 have experienced this form of harassment, with women usually being the victims and men the perpetrators. Approximately 10 percent of victims of non-physical sexual harassment experienced consequences. The measurement in 2020 counts as a baseline measurement and will be repeated in 2022 and 2024.

The circumstances in which young people in the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) live differ per island. At the beginning of 2020 on St Eustatius, almost as many young people (about 40 percent) lived in a single-parent family as in a family with both parents. The rest lived independently or with another family member. On Bonaire 56 percent of young people lived in a family with both parents and on Saba half of the young people lived in a family with both parents. Many young people on Bonaire and Saba do not see their future in the islands. They would prefer to emigrate to mainly the Netherlands or the United States after completing their education.

The scores on the social indicators discussed above may also have an impact on the well-being of young people (Chapter 10). This chapter looks at young adults aged 18 to 24. The HBSC well-being study, which is conducted by the Trimbos Institute, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Institute for Social Research and which also includes young people aged 15 and over, is conducted every four years, but not in 2020. As in the past, young people report a high level of well-being. However, in 2020, the number of young people who are very satisfied with their lives fell somewhat and the middle group (not dissatisfied/not satisfied) increased slightly. Young adults aged 18 to 21 had a higher personal well-being than young adults aged 22 to 24, and men aged 18 to 24 had a high personal well-being more often than women in that age group. Men especially had fewer worries about the financial future and a greater sense of security. In 2020, young adults had less daily contact with family through either seeing, talking to or exchanging messages with them. Young women are more likely to consider this family contact very important than young men. Although this was highly valued by the majority of young adults, women were more likely to consider personal development more important than men.

In summary, the year 2020 was, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the related measures and support schemes, a special year in many areas such as school, labour participation, social contacts, welfare, etc. On the whole, the number of children in families on income support did not increase. However, 2020 also saw children in families using the TOZO scheme. The well-being of young adults aged 18 to 24 remained high despite a small decline, although women have more difficulty than men with having fewer social contacts and experience more unsafety. The figures on non-physical sexual harassment, which 1 in 5 young people experience, illustrate this. For those in education, it was a year with pros and cons, less classroom teaching and contact with friends, but high pass rates. Participation in the labour market recovered somewhat in the second half of 2020 and youth care use fell back to the level of 2018, with repeat appeals for care falling sharply.

What remained in 2020 were the differences in the use of youth assistance between municipalities. Striking are the scores of municipalities with many orthodox religious orders, such as Urk and Staphorst, with a high percentage of young people, few single-parent families, high labour participation and a low use of youth assistance. Other scores raise questions: in Rotterdam, for example, there are many single-parent families and a relatively large number of young people living in families on income support, and the use of youth assistance for 0 to 17-year-olds is relatively low (9 percent) compared to other large cities, such as Amsterdam (12 percent) and Utrecht (16 percent).

One of the aims of the Youth Monitor is to raise questions using data on the use of youth assistance and social indicator scores. In order to get a better picture of the reality behind these figures, governments, scientists and other parties involved are challenged to carry out further (benchmark) research in order to explain these different scores between municipalities and regions. For this research, a multitude of data can be used, of which only a selection is presented in the annual report of the Youth Monitor. The search can begin on the Youth Monitor website and continue in the Youth Monitor StatLine, where numerous data can be combined as desired.

1. Young people in the Netherlands (Chapter 2)

On 1 January 2021, the Netherlands had nearly 4.9 million young people aged below 25 years, representing 28 percent of the population. This was still 30 percent in 2001. Among these young people, 3.3 million were minors (0 to 17) and more than 1.5 million young adults (18 to 24 years). Since 2004, the number of 0 to 3‑year-olds has fallen from 818 thousand to 682 thousand in 2021. This fall was mainly due to the decline in the number of births. The number of 0 to 3‑year-olds is expected to rise from 2024 to 2035, partly because there will be more women around 30 years old than currently and partly because many people who are now in their twenties are postponing having children until they are in their thirties. For example, 26 percent of babies in 2020 were born to mothers aged 35 or over, up from 20 percent twenty years ago. The average age of the mother at the birth of the first child increased by one year during this period, from 29.1 to 30.1 years. The number of children born to teenage mothers fell to almost 1.2 thousand in 2020. This makes the Netherlands one of the countries in the European Union with the lowest number of teenage mothers per thousand 15 to 19‑year-old girls. Most teenage mothers in the Netherlands, over 80 percent, are 18 or 19 years of age. The provinces with the lowest percentages of young people are Limburg, Zeeland and Drenthe. Municipalities with a relatively large number of orthodox religious orders and student cities have a relatively young population. In 2020 more university students moved from their parental homes to a university town than in previous years. Twenty-eight percent of all young people in the Netherlands had a migration background, compared to 22 percent twenty years ago. In the three largest cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, around 60 percent of young people had a migration background in 2021. The share of children living in single-parent families has risen steadily over the past two decades, as has the number of children living with unmarried parents. In 2021, 16 percent of minors (538 thousand out of 3.3 million) lived in single-parent households. About 1 in 100 children spend their entire childhoods in a single-parent household. A third spend part of their childhood in a single-parent household.

2. Youth care and reports of child abuse (Chapter 3)

In 2020, the number of young people who received youth care fell by 3.2 percent to 429 thousand. That is 9.7 of all young people aged below 23 years of age. This is the first time that the number of young people receiving youth care has fallen since the Child and Youth Act took effect on 1 January 2015. This fall can largely be attributed to lower intake, which dropped by 12 percent in 2020. The intake was particularly lower in April and May during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. During this period, more than 30 percent fewer youth care tracks were started than in the same period in 2019. The difference in intake between 2019 and 2020 was smallest in the months of June, November and December. Of the more than 263 thousand new youth care tracks in 2020, 94 percent concerned youth assistance. All months of 2020 saw fewer youth assistance tracks started than in 2019. Of the newly started youth assistance tracks, nearly 90 thousand were referred by a general practitioner, 83 thousand by the municipality, and 91 thousand via another channel. Referrals to youth assistance by general practitioners fell the most in 2020. The share of referrals by general practitioners has been declining since 2015, while the share of referrals by municipalities has been rising. In 2020 the number of referrals via municipalities fell by 8 percent. As opposed to the declining number of young people receiving youth care, the number of reports of and recommendations regarding child abuse increased in 2020. Veilig thuis (the support and reporting service for victims of domestic violence and child abuse) organisations issued more than 63 thousand recommendations regarding child abuse, which is an increase of 20 percent compared to 2019. The number of reports of child abuse rose from nearly 56 thousand in 2019 to more than 62 thousand in 2020, an increase of 12 percent. The rise in the number of requested recommendations in relation to child abuse is largely attributable to people involved in a non-professional capacity, such as family members and neighbours. The number of requests for a recommendation by this group rose by 8 thousand to 28 thousand. Approximately 34 thousand recommendations were requested by persons involved in a professional capacity, such as police officers, social workers or doctors. The vast majority of reports of child abuse (83 percent) in 2020 were made by persons involved in a professional capacity. They made a total of 52 thousand reports, 5 thousand more than in 2019. The number of reports by non-professionals rose in the same period from 7.6 thousand to 9.6 thousand.

3. Growing up on income support (Chapter 4)

At the end of 2020, 6.2 percent of all children younger than 18 were living in a family where at least one parent was on income support. This percentage remained unchanged relative to 2019. In absolute terms, the total number fell by one thousand to 203 thousand. Of the 203 thousand minors in income support families, 169 thousand were members of families on income support both at year-end 2019 and year-end 2020. More than a quarter of minors in income support families, 57 thousand, have a Dutch background. The remaining 72 percent of minors in income support families have a migration background, with minors of Syrian, Moroccan and Turkish decent constituting the largest sub-groups. Relative to 2019, there has been no significant change in distribution by migration background. The Temporary Bridging Scheme for Self-Employed Professionals (Tozo) was introduced on 1 March 2020 to alleviate the consequences of the Coronavirus crisis. The aim of this scheme is to help as many companies as possible survive the Coronavirus crisis. The Tozo is regarded as an income support-related benefit, resulting in a sharp rise in the number of persons receiving an income support-related benefit from March 2020. At the end of 2020, 40 thousand additional minors were members of a family where at least one parent received a Tozo benefit and no other income support(-related) benefit. Of young people aged between 15 and 26, more than 45 thousand received an income support benefit (excluding Tozo) at the end of 2020. This is 1.8 percent of all young people in this age category. This number has gone up by more than 6 thousand relative to 2019. Furthermore, 9 thousand young people applied for a Tozo benefit at the end of 2020. In 2019, two out of three income support families were single parent families, mostly single mothers. In 2019, families on income support with minor children had an average disposable income of 2,050 euros per month. This is an average of 1,000 euros per year more than in 2018. The younger the children, the less disposable income a family on income support usually has and the more often the family’s debts are greater than their possessions. Nearly 9 in 10 of young families ran the risk of falling into poverty in 2019. This means that their income is lower than the low-income threshold of Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This is not only because of their relatively low disposable incomes, but also because of the relatively large sizes of these families.

4. School (Chapter 5)

In the 2020/21 school year, there were nearly 188 thousand pupils in the third year of secondary education (excluding practical education and special education schools at secondary level). Approximately half (50.2 percent) of these pupils were in prevocational secondary education (VMBO). This share has been falling for some years now. This was 54.2 percent in 2015/16 and 51.3 percent in 2019/20. The drop was largest in the basic vocational programme (VMBO-b). The more urban a municipality, the lower the share of pupils on a VMBO programme. In non-urban municipalities with fewer than 500 addresses per square kilometre, 54.5 percent of pupils in the third year of secondary education were on a VMBO programme in 2020/21. In highly urbanised residential municipalities (2,500 or more addresses per square kilometre), this was 47.1 percent of pupils. In the 2019/20 school year, the final primary education exam in group 8 was not held due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, the teacher’s first recommendation could not be adjusted upwards and it was adopted as the final recommendation. As a result, the average final recommendation was lower than in previous years. For example, 58.5 percent of the eighth-graders received a recommendation for prevocational secondary education (VMBO)/senior general secondary education (HAVO) or higher in 2018/19; in 2019/20 this was 55.2 percent. The share of pupils in secondary education (excluding years 1 and 2) that progressed to the next year was higher in the 2019/20 school year than a year previously (88.1 percent versus 83.9 percent 2019). The share of pupils that remained in the same year (4.5 percent versus 7.2 percent) or who transferred to a lower education level (3.6 percent versus 4.7 percent) was lower. The percentage of examinees obtaining a certificate normally differs depending on education level. For years, the pass rates have been highest at VMBO-b and VMBO-k and lowest at HAVO. In the 2019/20 school year, however, the pass rates for all education levels rose to near 100 percent due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to the exceptional situation and the fact that some pupils had counted on the central exam to raise their grades, pupils were allowed to take a result-enhancement test for a maximum of two or three VMBO-b and VMBO-k subjects.

5. Work (Chapter 6)

In 2020, the percentage of young people aged 15 to 26 in work fell for the first time since 2014, and youth unemployment numbers rose. The net employment rate fell from 68 percent in 2019 to 66 percent in 2020. This decline was stronger among young people in education than among those not in education. In the third and fourth quarters of 2020, the youth employment rate partially recovered. While the employment rate of young people declined in 2020, the labour participation rate of their parents, if they live in the same household, did not or barely fall. Youth unemployment increased from 6.1 percent in 2019 to 8.3 percent in 2020. School pupils or students were more often unemployed (9.6 percent) than young people not in education (6.1 percent). The unemployed labour force includes everyone who is not in paid employment, but who is looking for work and can start work in the short term. The majority of young people in employment, 55 percent, had a flexible employment relationship in 2020. This percentage fell somewhat between 2017 and 2020 after having increased each year between 2009 and 2017. This decrease was particularly strong in the past year; in 2019, 58 percent of employed young people had a flexible employment relationship. The share of young people in permanent employment increased from 36 to 39 percent between 2019 and 2020, and the share of self-employed has remained fairly constant at 6 percent in recent years. The decline in the percentage of young people in a flexible employment relationship between 2019 and 2020 was significantly stronger among young people not in education (from 38 to 33 percent) than among employed young people still in education (from 71 to 70 percent). The Netherlands Working Conditions Survey (NEA), conducted by CBS and TNO, shows that younger workers were significantly more likely than older workers to report that their work had come to a halt or could not be performed due to Coronavirus: 7 percent among 15 to 26‑year-olds versus 1 percent among 27 to 74‑year-olds. This is partly due to the fact that a relatively large number of young people work in industries where work was halted during the period in which the questionnaire was administered (fourth quarter of 2020), such as the hotel and catering industry and culture, sports and recreation. The percentage of young people with mental fatigue complaints due to work was almost as high as in 2019; the percentage of young people who said they often or always experienced high work pressure was lower in 2020 than a year earlier. Job satisfaction continued to increase among younger workers in 2020. In 2020, 79 percent of younger workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs.

6. Substance use and health (Chapter 7)

In 2020, 28 percent of young people aged 12 to 17 reported that they had drunk alcohol at some point in the past 12 months. A year earlier, this was still 35 percent. This is the first time since 2014 that the share of drinkers among young people in this age group has declined. This decline is entirely attributable to 12 to 17‑year-old girls. Among young adults aged 18 to 24, the share of drinkers has not changed since 2014. In 2020, 85 percent of both men and women of this age group drank alcohol at some point. In this age group, however, the share of excessive drinkers has fallen from 14 percent in 2019 to 10 percent in 2020. This is almost entirely due to the decrease among 18 to 24‑year-old men: from 17 to 10 percent. Excessive drinking among young adult men has been on a downward trend for years. In 2020, 4 percent of young people aged 12 to 17 said they smoked occasionally, and 2 percent said they smoked daily. These percentages are similar to those in 2019. Among young adults aged 18 to 24, the share of smokers decreased from 28 to 23 percent between 2019 and 2020, while the share of daily smokers remained constant at 12 percent. In recent years, the share of (daily) smokers among young adult men and women has shown a downward trend. Among young people aged 12 to 17, 7 percent said in 2020 they had used cannabis in the past twelve months; over 1 percent used another drug, such as amphetamines, XTC, cocaine or magic mushrooms. Among young adults aged 18 to 24, the figures were 26 and 15 percent respectively. In both age groups, there was no difference from 2019 in cannabis use or use of other drugs. In the period 2018 to 2020, 88 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 rated their health as good or very good. Among men of this age, this share was 91 percent, and among young women 86 percent. Of the 18 to 24‑year-olds, 87 percent had good mental health. This was also more common among men than women: 91 versus 82 percent. Smokers and cannabis users were less likely to have good mental health in the 18‑to-24 age group. The number of drugs used also makes a difference to mental health.

7. Crime (Chapter 8)

According to preliminary figures, nearly 49 thousand young people were registered as crime suspects in 2020. That is 1.6 percent of all young people aged 12 to 24. Between 2010 and 2018, the share of suspects among 12 to 24‑year-olds dropped by more than half. After an increase in 2019, this share decreased again in 2020. The share of registered suspects is lower among women than among men and there are also differences between men and women in the type of crime of which young people are suspected. Drugs and firearms offences, for example, are virtually non-existent among girls, and the share of vandalism and crimes against public order is much lower among girls than among boys. The highest share of registered suspects among boys and girls in all age categories is in the category of property crime. These include shoplifting, bicycle theft and swindling. The share of young registered suspects of pickpocketing, shoplifting and house burglary dropped more sharply in 2020 relative to 2012 than for many other types of crime. For example, the share of young people suspected of pickpocketing had fallen by 55 percent; for shoplifting and house burglary, the decrease was 27 percent and 30 percent respectively.

In 2020, almost 1 in 5 young people aged 16 to 23 experienced non-physical sexual harassment, where there was no physical contact with the perpetrator but the perpetrator was physically present. That is 300 thousand young people. The most common forms of sexual harassment were being stared at in a sexual manner, or sexually oriented remarks or jokes (both 10 percent). Apart from in the ‘real world’, where the perpetrator is physically present, sexual harassment can also take place online. In 2020, 16 percent of 16 to 23‑year-olds said they had been victims of online sexual harassment in the past year. That is 280 thousand young people. The most common forms of online sexual harassment were receiving nude photos or sexual videos (8 percent), asking for sexual photos or videos, and making sexually offensive comments (both 6 percent).

8. Caribbean Netherlands (Chapter 9)

On 1 January 2021, nearly 7 thousand people aged 0 to 24 years lived in the Caribbean Netherlands, which equals 27 percent of the population. Bonaire and St Eustatius had particularly higher birth rates in 2020. On Saba, the birth rate was the same as in 2019. At the start of 2020, more than half of young people in the Caribbean Netherlands lived with both parents, 28 percent lived with one parent and 7 percent lived independently, whether or not with a partner and/or child. The rest of the young people in the Caribbean Netherlands, 11 percent, were members of another household. As in the rest of the world, the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic have affected the Caribbean Netherlands in many areas. In foreign migration this is most visible in the lower number of young adult emigrants in 2020. In general, fewer young adults left for the other countries within the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten). Furthermore, fewer people left Bonaire and Saba for the European Netherlands in 2020. These are often young adults who leave for the European Netherlands for their education and later return to one of the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Saba it also concerns a lower number of students of the Saba University School of Medicine returning to the US and Canada.

In 2020, 54 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 living in the Caribbean Netherlands had a low level of education, 40 percent a secondary level and 5 percent a high education level. Many young people in this age group are still in education and will obtain a diploma at a higher level. On all three islands, about half of the young people was in education in 2020. After obtaining their diploma, almost half of the pupils aged between 11 and 17 in secondary or secondary vocational training on Bonaire (46 percent) and Saba (48 percent) still want to follow an education. A smaller part wants to work or start their own business. The pupils do not necessarily see their future on Bonaire or Saba. Following their education, 37 percent of the pupils on Bonaire prefer to go to the Netherlands and 22 percent to the United States; 17 percent prefer to stay on Bonaire. Of the pupils on Saba, 9 percent want to stay on the island, 34 percent want to go to the Netherlands, 29 percent to the United States. A large share of the young people in the Caribbean Netherlands were not in work in 2020 and gave the fact that they were in training or studying as the reason for not being able to work. Of young people aged between 15 and 24, 41.3 percent were in paid employment. Participation in the labour market was highest on Bonaire, at 42.7 percent, followed by Saba (41.7 percent) and St Eustatius (32.1 percent).

9. Well-being of young people (Chapter 10)

Young adults in the age category 18 to 24 years were generally happy about and satisfied with their lives in 2020. However, at 84 percent, the share of happy young adults in 2020 was slightly lower than in 2019, when it was 88 percent. This percentage of satisfied young people has remained stable for years, at between 85 and 86 percent. However, this dropped to 81 percent in 2020. The share of young adults with high personal well-being was 70 percent in 2020, as it was in 2019. However, some aspects of personal well-being did change between 2019 and 2020. For example, the share of young adults who scored 7 or higher in the area of finances, financial future, education or profession increased. Institutional confidence increased the most. In 2019, 53 percent had a 7 or higher in this area, in 2020 this was 64 percent. The only area where there was a decrease was satisfaction with social life. In 2019, 85 percent were satisfied with it, in 2020 this was 80 percent. Of the young people, 31 percent had daily contact with family in 2020. This is less than in 2019 when it was still 38 percent. The share of young people who had daily contact with friends and neighbours is unchanged. Although the majority of the population considers social contacts and relationships with others important or very important, this is even more the case for young adults (94 percent) than for the over-25s (90 percent). The importance of regular social contact with others for young adults is reflected in life satisfaction. This is particularly true with respect to regular contact with friends. Personal development is important or very important for 94 percent. Gaining new knowledge and experiences was especially relevant for young adults. Ninety-seven and ninety-six percent of them respectively considered this important or very important. Meeting challenges was also important or very important to 88 percent of young people. Transferring knowledge to others was relatively less important to young people than the other forms of personal development. Nevertheless, more than three quarters of young people considered it important or very important.

10. Children’s rights (Chapter 11)

Author: Dutch NGO Coalition for Children’s Rights

All children in the Netherlands have rights. These are described in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This convention includes civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights that apply to all children up to the age of 18. Figures and data are important sources to know how the rights of these children are being respected. The purpose of this chapter is to explore whether, and if so, to what extent the National Youth Monitor offers possibilities to monitor the observance of children’s rights. For this purpose, the four general principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are used as a guideline: the principle of non-discrimination (Article 2), the best interests of the child (Article 3), the right to life and development (Article 6) and the right to participation (Article 12). For each article, it is explained how this article is interpreted on the basis of the General Comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Manual of International Children’s Law. This is followed by possible indicators to monitor compliance with these four general principles. These indicators have been weighed up by the members of the Children’s Rights Collective. These indicators can be partly filled in with the currently available data. The National Youth Monitor can offer a solution for a number of indicators, mainly concerning the right to life and development (Art. 6). There is also data collected structurally in other sources for a number of indicators, which could be considered for inclusion in the National Youth Monitor. At the same time, it is clear that there are not enough data available to monitor the UNCRC based on the proposed indicators. Specifically on the right to non-discrimination (Art. 2) and the best interests of the child (Art. 3), the National Youth Monitor currently provides little or no information. For a number of indicators, there are no (reliable) data available in the National Youth Monitor, nor (as far as is known) in other sources, for example the number of municipal discrimination reporting centres with a separate procedure for children, the number of municipalities that have developed a children’s rights strategy and the share of new legislation or policy that looks at the impact of this new legislation on children. For the Caribbean Netherlands, the gap is even wider. The indicators mentioned in this chapter are a first step of the Children’s Rights Collective, for suggestion and discussion. It is important to continue the dialogue on how and with which indicators children’s rights can be monitored in the Netherlands and what is needed to do so.


Significant, Regionale verschillen in gebruik van jeugdhulp met verblijf, 2018.


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1. Inleiding

Ruud van Herk (Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport)

2. Jongeren in Nederland

Dominique van Roon

3. Jeugdzorggebruik en meldingen kindermishandeling 2020

Rudi Bakker

4. Opgroeien in bijstand

Daniël Herbers en Kai Gidding

5. School

Marijke Hartgers en Kiki van Neden

6. Werk

Willem Gielen

7. Middelengebruik en gezondheid

Kim Knoops

8. Veiligheid

Michelle van Rosmalen, Lisanne Jong en Willem Gielen

9. Jongeren in Caribisch Nederland

Carel Harmsen en Mark Ramaekers

10. Welzijn van jongeren

Moniek Coumans

11. Kinderrechten


12. Gemeenten

Jan Hendriks (Communicatie- en tekstbureau Blitz)


Linda Fernandez Beiro

Brigitte Hermans

Astrid Pleijers

Martijn Souren


Karolien van Wijk