Definition of Youth
The National Youth Policy (2003) defines youth in Bangladesh as between 18-35 years.
- Opposite Sex
- Same Sex
- Without parental consent
- with parental consent
Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union
Situation of Young People
- 80.61% Male (15-24) %
- 85.83% Female (15-24) %
- Year: 2015
- Source: UNESCO
Net Enrolment RateSecondary School
- 44.36%Male %
- 51.28% Female %
- Year: 2012
- Source: UNESCO
Situation of Young People
Policy & Legislation
The National Youth Policy (2003) aims to develop individuals who are creative, responsible citizens. It also aims to engage and involve youth in national development, and in the preservation of national heritage and culture. Objectives include: Awareness of the constitution; Ability to fulfill jobs; Encouraging self-employment; Engagement in voluntary work; Participation in culture & sports; Collection of information on youth; Provision of youth facilities in rural areas; Equal participation in decision- making. A review of the 2003 policy aims to include entrepreneurship and increased focus on participation in development in youth policy. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Bangladesh is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
Youth and Representation
Budget & Spending
- % of GDP
- % of gov. expenditure
Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).
Despite official recognition of the role young people have played in Bangladesh’s independence movement, opportunities for their participation in the decision-making processes since then have often fallen short. Nevertheless two policy frameworks exist that could be harnessed to provide greater opportunities for Youth Civic Engagement – the National Youth Policy and a National Service Scheme.
The Bangladesh National Youth Policy (NYP) was passed in 2003 and, if fully implemented, could significantly expand the opportunities for young people to become socially, economically and politically engaged in Bangladesh. The policy identifies seven issues or areas it seeks to address, including education, employment, training, health, environment, amusement, and sports and games. Noticeably absent from this list is civic engagement. Nevertheless, among 14 objectives listed in the policy, several pertain explicitly to civic engagement. These include: fostering understanding and respect for democratic principles and social justice as enshrined in the constitution; motivation and encouragement of young people to participate in social development through voluntary organizations; assistance to youth organizations; and the encouragement of youth participation in all aspects of national development.
However, the policy lacks concrete steps for achieving these goals and has been plagued by a lack of implementation. The result has been continued “exclusion [of youth] from the democratic and development process at all levels.” The Ministry of Youth, Department of Youth Development, and National Youth Council are charged with reviewing and revising the policy every five years, although the institutional arrangements between these bodies, and their commitment to issues pertaining to youth development, are not clear.From Youth Participation Through Civic Engagement: Mapping Assets in South Asia (2010):
[T]here are a number of important assets for youth development and civic engagement in Bangladesh. These include the Ministry of Youth, a National Youth Policy, local NGOs, student unions and a substantial INGO and donor presence. However, political instability and poverty remain major obstacles to a more robust youth civic engagement movement. As in Pakistan, investments in advocacy, campaigning and youth media – though important – may prove to be controversial and less effective in the short term.
However, investment in social and economic development programs that encourage civic engagement through voluntary service can help young people engage their local communities and effect real change. Opportunities for more formal long-term service will likely remain limited without substantial investment by the government in larger national youth service programs. Although the government is officially committed to promoting youth development and empowerment, international donors remain the primary providers of financial support to the NGO sector. Building on existing progress, further investment in programs focused on sectors such as information and communications technology training, environmental protection/climate change, disaster preparedness and relief, and poverty reduction can empower young people and advance the country’s economic, social, and political development. In addition, Bangladesh’s unique history of and experience with micro-finance could provide an exceptional laboratory for experimentation with new models of youth social entrepreneurship and civic engagement. By working together, the government, international donors, INGOs, community-based organisations and young people can mobilize existing assets and incorporate international best practices to leverage their overall impact on youth development through civic engagement.