Youth Panel for Integration

The purpose of the Youth Panel is to enable young people to participate in decision-making processes and participate as real contributors in the development of integration policy on a national level
Good Practices

Youth Panel for Integration

The purpose of the Youth Panel is to enable young people to participate in decision-making processes and participate as real contributors in the development of integration policy on a national level

"I am a third cultural child and experience what it is like to be different in Norwegian society, at the same time as I have seen how the integration process for my mother and my father has been. I want to change that and make it easier and more acceptable to be different and appreciate the differences we have instead of separating and giving more meaning than necessary to those differences. We have a lot to learn from each other and by appreciating cultures you learn even more."

- Panel member, 18 years old

The project in brief

The project is implemented by The Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) and partners in Norway. It began in November 2022 and is currently ongoing.

The youth panel consists of 13 young people aged 15-25 from different parts of the country.

The panel reflects the youth population in Norway in terms of gender, ethnicity, language location, functional variation, gender expression, sexual orientation, and religious and social background. Topics discussed by the current youth panel are the role of civil society in integration efforts, negative social control, honour-related violence, racism and discrimination as barriers to integration, among others.

The youth panel aims to provide useful advice to directorates, ministries and political decision-makers. The goal is to give young people with different backgrounds a voice and increased knowledge about decision-making processes, and a platform for participation in our political system. They shall experience real influence in the development of integration policy.


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Main activities of the Good Practice

The youth panel has met 4 times, for 2-3 days, during a period of one year. They have also kept in touch online between meetings, and recorded and posted short videos on social media about their motivation for joining the panel.

The panel provided input to the Governments new Action Plan against Racism and Discrimination. They have commented on the report "Experiences of discrimination among Muslims in Norway" from the Norwegian Holocaust Centre and the Equality Centre. They have also provided a response to the report “Safe Childhood, Secure Future”, a review of legal protection for children and parents within child welfare services. The youth panel will participate at IMDi's Annual Conference where they will present their advice on good integration. The conference is for leaders and decision-makers in central government, municipalities, county authorities, businesses and organisations.

Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice

The assignment was given by the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion and is part of the Directorate of Integration and Diversity's implementation of the measures in the National Strategy for Everyday Integration (2021-2024), a strategy to strengthen civil society's role in the field of integration. The Ministry intends to ensure that young people participate in decision-making processes. In line with Norway's Constitution and in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and young people have the right to be heard in matters concerning themselves. Their opinions shall be given weight in accordance with their age and development.

“I am particularly concerned about human rights and that everyone should be treated fairly. Therefore, I saw this as an opportunity to help minorities in Norway who are treated unfairly through discrimination or racism”

- Panel member, 17 years old.

Partners involved

  • Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion
  • NGOs
  • Minority advisors in upper secondary schools

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What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


The panel consists of youths from all different parts of Norway. They are students, with limited time and opportunities for meetings. If they had more time available, they could have participated in a wide range of events and decision-making processes.

How they were overcome

In addition to communication through email and online meetings, we schedule work sessions at the end of the week and during weekends so that we can avoid absences from studies. The meetings are held in the capital Oslo, making travelling to and from the location of the meetings easier. We cover expenses for hotel and food, and they are financially compensated for meetings and work in between meetings.

Results of the Good Practice

Their input influences current policymaking, which in turn has an impact on refugees and/or the host community.

The youth panel has contributed to the implementation of The National Strategy for Everyday Integration

Their input on the importance of knowledge about transnationality within the child welfare services will increase consciousness about cultural sensitivity in the public sector.

The panel’s comments on the report "Experiences of discrimination among Muslims in Norway" from the Holocaust Center and the Equality Center, and the Government’s new “Action Plan against Racism and Discrimination” have contributed to raising awareness and combating discrimination in Norwegian society. The panel also functions as a utility for user-oriented policymaking.

"The youth panel is a great place to meet people you can relate to and share your opinions with freely without fear of being judged. There is plenty of room to gain different experiences when it comes to politics and talking to people with different experiences.”

Panel member, 16 years old

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries

Civil society, and NGOs, represent the glue in small and large communities in society. Through their work, they contribute to solving important social tasks and challenges. The Youth Panel is part of the civil society strategy to enable young people to participate in decision-making processes, participate as real actors in the evaluation of the strategy work and provide input to the government's integration work.

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

The youth panel contribute to enhance refugee self-reliance. Several of the participants themselves come from refugee backgrounds, and they act as role models and represent the resources refugees bring to their host communities.

Next steps

The Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) has seen an increasing interest and use of the youth panel.

We are in the process of recruiting next year's panel.

We need support from the ministries, as well as politicians and other decision-makers.