About ENIL Youth

About the ENIL Youth Network

ENIL works to encourage and support the involvement of young disabled people

The ENIL Youth Network was established in 2012 by a group of young disability activists who took part in ENIL’s first study session in Strasbourg. Since then, hundreds of young people have joined.

The aim of the Youth Network is to provide a platform for young disabled people to engage with youth and disability rights issues at the European level. Through the Youth Network, ENIL actively involves young people in all of its activities, provides them with an opportunity to address policy makers and to represent the organisation at important events and in various fora. Since 2016, the ENIL Youth Network has had a representative on the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. It is also represented on EDF’s Youth Committee.

Any individual between 18 and 35 years of age can become a member of the ENIL Youth Network, as an individual member or an associated individual member. Membership in ENIL is free and all membership applications have to be approved by the Board of ENIL. For any inquiries, please contact Kamil Goungor at: kamil.goungor@enil.eu


The Youth Network provides a forum for young people

The ENIL Youth Network is an integral part of ENIL, with a wide range of activities. Its activities are aimed at:

  • Giving an opportunity to young disabled people to identify areas/issues which ENIL should be focusing on and which are of particular relevance to young people in different European countries;

  • Providing a forum for young people to share information and ideas;

  • Strengthening the leadership skills of young people within the Independent Living movement;

  • Giving an opportunity to young people active in the Independent Living movement to act as role models to their peers;

  • Giving an opportunity to young people to represent ENIL at different meetings and events;

  • Improving participation of young people in ENIL’s activities, especially the Freedom Drive;

  • Improving representation of young people on the Board of ENIL;

  • Ensuring that the way ENIL communicates responds to what young people want.


From a study session to a network

The Youth Network was established in October 2012, following the first ENIL study session in Strasbourg, organised with the support of the Council of Europe Youth Department. Zara Todd and Miro Griffiths, disability rights activists from the United Kingdom, were behind this initiative.

On 29th September 2015, at the Freedom Drive, the young people who were there agreed that the Youth Network should be formalised and adopted a draft Constitution. A team of six interim board members were elected, and they were supported by a coordinator based at the ENIL Secretariat. The interim board was in place until the first General Assembly of the ENIL Youth Network, which took place on 26 September 2017. The first ENIL Youth Network Board was elected, with a two-year mandate.

Melike Bal Melike Bal

Board Member


Clementine Doevendans Clementine Doevendans



Nicolas Joncour Nicolas Joncour

Board Member


Charlie Wills Charlie Wills


United Kingdom

Nina Portolan Nina Portolan

Board Member


Peadar O’Dea Peadar O’Dea

Board Member


Overview of our activities

The Youth Network voices concerns of young disabled people

Study session 2023 Study session 2023

The ENIL Youth Network, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, is holding a study session at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg (EYCS) from 12th June to 17th June. The title of the study session will be “Crip Camp: Disability Rights in Times of Conflict and Calamity”, covering a wide range of themes such as disability rights in war and climate change.

Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe

The Advisory Council on Youth is the non-governmental partner in the co- management structure which establishes the standards and work priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector and makes recommendations for future priorities, programmes and budgets. It is made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks in Europe and its main task is to advise the Committee of Ministers on all questions relating to youth.

European Disability Forum Youth Committee European Disability Forum Youth Committee

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is an umbrella organisation of disabled people, bringing together representative organisations of disabled people from across Europe, and advocating for the rights of more than 100 million disabled Europeans. ENIL is an active member of EDF, being represented on its board and various committees. One of them is the EDF Youth Committee, which is the voice of young disabled people inside EDF, ensuring that EDF’s work takes into account the perspective of disabled youngsters.

“Mobilization of Youth” speech in San Marino “Mobilization of Youth” speech in San Marino

ENIL was invited in San Marino to take part in the first official Independent Living conference on 3rd December, the international day of the Independent Living philosophy.

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