Global Youth Development Index and Report 2016 Research Publication
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In the context of violent conflict, young people are often stereotyped as perpetrators of violence or innocent victims who must be protected. While it is true that young people disproportionately experience harmful effects of violent conflict and some engage in violence, there is another undeniable reality: the vast majority of young people choose not to engage in violence, and many are active agents of peace. Young people are too frequently caught in fragile and conflict zones that have a negative impact on their wellbeing and development. They are a majority of global refugees, they account for 43 per cent of homicides, they are recruited into the military and militia groups and they remain vulnerable to radicalisation and extremism. The youth bulge that a number of countries are experiencing can be a risk, particularly if adequate investments are not made to harness and develop the capabilities of young people. The narrative around high youth populations continues to focus on security and the threat of idle young people. Finding decent employment opportunities is a clear priority for most young people, but their political, social and cultural demands – their desire for democracy, peace, equality, transparency and good governance – must also be recognised as legitimate factors in the effort to build peaceful and tolerant societies.
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