Social inclusion is the process of ensuring that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion have the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social and cultural life, enjoying a standard of living and well-being that is considered normal in the society in which they live". It emphasizes the right of people to "have an associated life as a member of a community. social inclusion can affect individuals as well as groups or communities.
Exclusion may be related to access to economic resources due to gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, or to being young, or an immigrant, or to having physical or psychological limitations, lack of basic training or literacy, etc.
Social inclusion policies focus on job opportunities, access to the health system, decent housing and education. Social inclusion can be fostered also through discourses and culture (media, art, literature etc).
The concept of social inclusion is a recent one and, consequently, so is its practical application; government policies for inclusion have started to be implemented in the latest decades. For example, in the EU in 2010, the strategy for growth and employment was included as an objective of Europe 2020 with the aim of lifting at least twenty million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. However, the global economic crisis has prevented the full achievement of the objective, although there have been general improvements in most Member States since 2013.