Many of us in the anglophone Caribbean remain isolated from our neighbours in Latin America, missing opportunities for ideational exchange, policy dialogue and solidarity in communities of practice. In spite of the socio-economic, cultural and linguistic diversity within the region, Latin America and the Caribbean suffers from the maintenance of unhelpful geopolitical divisions which hide historical ties and situational similarities.
That’s often been the case in youth development where we …. So, I was particularly pleased to have been able to participate last year in a seminar organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on Social Inclusion and Youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. I was joined by members of the Caribbean youth movement – Tijani Christian – Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC); Tarun Butcher – Belize CARICOM Youth Ambassador; Renee Cozier – Researcher at the UWI St. Augustine; and Rashad Brathwaite – Legal Advisor to the CRYC.
We benefitted from dialogue with youth development practitioners, researchers and youth leaders of grassroots, national and transnational movements across Central and South America. We took note of shared challenges – particularly between small Caribbean states and Central American states – in relation to youth crime and violence, educational quality and political and policy participation. We took note of the programmes and projects implemented in other countries and relished in their admiration of our ongoing efforts towards a regionally-coordinated youth development framework in CARICOM. I contributed a presentation on the situation of youth economic exclusion in the Caribbean sub-region – “From Addressing Youth Employment and Work Challenges to Promoting Youth Economic Citizenship” – arguing for a shift in the policy discussion away from exclusive focus on temporary responses to cyclical changes in economies to focus on the adoption of integrated approaches to youth economic citizenship which will encourage longer-term employment, financial inclusion and economic empowerment of young people.
One of the panels at the seminar presented interesting findings from a study conducted by ECLAC on educational, health, security and political dimensions of youth social inclusion in selected Latin American countries. We were fortunate to receive a copy of the study which we hoped to share with our anglophone CARICOM network – BUT it was only available, at that time, in Spanish!
However, ECLAC has now made the book available in English, along with a Toolkit on analysis and policy design for youth social inclusion. Please use the links below to download these resources:
Soto, H., Trucco, D., & Ullmann, H. (2015). Towards the Social Inclusion of Youth: Tools for analysis and policy design. Santiago, Chile: United Nations/ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.