Urban Youth in the Pacific – Increasing Resilience and Reducing Risk for Involvement in Crime and Violence

Authors

Cameron Noble, Nanise Saune, Natalia Pereira

Abstract

In 2008 the member states of the Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC)1 formally acknowledged the involvement of a minority but increasing number of urban youth in crime and violence as a security risk in the Pacific region.

Despite this concern, research confirmed that the majority of Pacific youth are contributing positively to society. As a significant portion of the total population, young people have great potential as they transition to adulthood to drive economic development and contribute to society. However, more can be done to support them in fulfilling this potential. Worldwide the socio-economic and political marginalization of youth have consistently been identified as one of the underlying factors which contribute to young people adopting negative behaviours and prevent them from contributing more to society.

Like any other region in the world, the Pacific has its own unique cultures, geography and demographics. For this reason, while valuable lessons about youth involvement in crime and violence can be drawn from other regions, solutions for addressing this issue needs to come from within
the region.

This report is the first regional report that focuses exclusively on Pacific young people involvement in crime and violence. As part of this initiative it also examines a number of key issues from a regional perspective that have received scant attention to date including the gender aspects of youth crime and violence, the role of young people in domestic and sexual violence, and groups or gangs of young people involved in anti-social behaviour.

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