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Realizing Youth Inclusion for a More Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

image of Realizing Youth Inclusion for a More Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

This report aims to broaden understanding of the multitude of institutional and sociocultural barriers youth face in realizing their potential. It uses findings revealed by a primary research project in six countries in the Asia-Pacific region covering over 10,000 youth aged 18-24, and providing a unique wealth of information from youth talking first-hand about their situation, concerns and hopes. Motivated by requests of ESCAP member States, the report aims to provide insight into the most pressing issues that affect youth inclusion in social, economic and civic domains. The findings are derived from analysing data collected through a comprehensive questionnaire and a series of focus group discussions in 12 cities in the six countries. However, relevance of the findings extends beyond the context of the areas surveyed. Throughout Asia and the Pacific significant numbers of youth are excluded from the impressive socioeconomic advances of recent decades. This report sheds light on these people and how they differ from those who are more privileged. The findings reveal that gender remains a large contributor to inequality, often restricting access to education and employment, and participation in political activities. Nevertheless, those of low wealth, ethnic minorities, certain castes or religious groups are often even more excluded from such spheres, while also receiving fewer opportunities to increase social and human capital, such as through access to associations and the Internet. The report considers the options many developing countries face as they seek to more effectively tap into the potential of youth and progress along the pathways delineated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It further calls upon policymakers and other stakeholders to pay more attention to the evolving needs and aspirations of youth, and work closely with them, for a more prosperous, inclusive and shared future.

English

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Preface

Despite the tremendous impact young people have on society, they often face a multitude of institutional and sociocultural barriers in realizing their potential. Overcoming these challenges and barriers requires a deeper understanding of the complex situation youth are facing in becoming healthy, happy and productive citizens that actively participate in all aspects of the development process.

English

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