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Youth Rights In Peacebuilding And Humanitarian Settings

Why talk about youth rights in peacebuilding and humanitarian settings?

Globally, young people are significantly affected by different forms of violence. Although young people share many of the same peace and security challenges as adults and society in general, there are specific aspects of youth that confront young people with particular challenges and opportunities.

Violent conflicts affect youth by destroying sources of stability and belonging and by disrupting the transition into adulthood by interrupting young people’s education and decimating social support structures and livelihood opportunities.

In depth…

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person or against a group or community, that either results in or is likely to result in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

Violence can be broadly divided into three categories: (1) self-directed violence; (2) interpersonal violence; and (3) collective violence. This section focuses on collective violence, which can be inflicted by larger groups such as States, organized political groups, terrorist organizations, etc. Collective violence includes social, political and economic violence.

  • Collective violence that is committed to advance a particular social agenda includes, for example, crimes of hate committed by organized groups, terrorist acts and mob violence. Social violence can sometimes be induced by traditional beliefs and stereotypes spread in society, which may lead to discrimination and stigmatization of certain groups.
  • Political violence includes war and related violent conflicts, state violence and similar acts carried out by larger groups.
  • Economic violence includes attacks by larger groups motivated by economic gain – such as attacks carried out with the purpose of disrupting economic activity, denying access to essential services, or creating economic division and fragmentation.

Each of these types of violence has particular implications for young people, who already face age-based discrimination and socio-economic difficulties during the transition to adulthood. At the same time, young people play an extremely important role in addressing violence and promoting peace, which has already been recognised by the international community.

Where can I learn more?

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The Existing Legal Framework?

What is the existing legal framework?