Definition of Youth

The Urban Youth in the Pacific (2011) describes the Solomon Islands’ national youth policy as defining youth as individuals between 14-29 years. The national youth policy does not exist online.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 15
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 15
  • XX

  • Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
From 8-12 years old, the state must prove criminal capacity. A child below 8 cannot be held legally responsible for their actions. Source:  Penal Code

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 32.97%Male %
  • 28.88% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy covers 2011-2015. A 2003 study2005 analysis and 2011 chapter exist.

According to the Urban Youth in the Pacific (2011), the national youth policy (2010-2015), and the accompanying strategic action plan, replaces the national youth policy (2000) after a lengthy review and consultation process. The national youth policy does not exist anywhere online. The national youth policy (2010-2015) focuses on six key issues:

  1. Youth and Career pathways
  2. Youth and Governance
  3. Youth and Wellbeing
  4. Youth and Peace-building
  5. Youth and Sustainable development
  6. Youth Mainstreaming
Additionally, youth policies exist at the provincial level. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Solomon Islands is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
According to the Solomon Islands Budget 2013 Budget Strategy And Outlook, the mission of the Youth Development Division of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children, Family Affairs is to “uphold and promote the rights of women, young people and children and families to advance the well being of the nation.” It is responsible for the implementation of the national youth policy. Coordination of youth policy is supported by the National Steering Committee, National Youth Stakeholders Committee and the National Youth Congress.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
According to the Pacific Youth Council – Solomon Islands page, the Solomon Islands National Youth Congress (SINYC) aims to “encourage young people to participate more fully in the country’s development.” SINYC was established in 1980 and its functions include advocacy, training, developing provincial youth policies and coordinating the National Youth Stakeholders Committee. An annual National Youth Parliament takes places at the National Parliament for a mock session. The SINYC is a member of the Pacific Youth Council and The Commonwealth Youth Council.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
SBD 3.6 million
USD 495,180
According to the 2013 Budget Strategy and Outlook, the Youth Development budget is SBD 3.6 million (USD 495,180) for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. According to the World Bank, Solomon Islands spent 34% of its government expenditure and 7.27 % of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The Urban Youth in the Pacific (2011) gives a an overview on the situation for young people and policy measures taken:

The large youth population, which will grow into the political leadership and economic engine of the country, is the key to the sustainable recovery and development of the Solomon Islands after years of conflict (1998-2003), political rioting (2006) and natural disasters (2007 and 2010). The country has begun a slow recovery but the on-going high youth unemployment rates, trauma, and social disruption that remain as a fall out from the conflict or “the Tensions” as it is commonly known still need to be addressed. Young people must be part of this recovery process and be involved in the development process if Solomon Islands is to continue to make progress.

Young people have many aspirations to contribute to the long term sustainable development of the nation and are eager for opportunities. However, during consultations for this report, a number of risk factors were identified that increase the likelihood of young people becoming involved in crime and violence: lack of employment; the continuing post-conflict recovery process, including the need to address reintegration and rehabilitation of young people affected by the Tensions; and substance abuse. At the same time there were many resilience factors that encourage young people not to engage in crime and violence: parental support; opportunities for meaningful activities, and positive role models and peers.

There is an immediate need for better coordination amongst stakeholders to support young people and prevent duplication and/or gaps within youth development initiatives. Government strategic planning for young people should be prioritized, in particular in the areas that encourage young people’s involvement in community safety and crime prevention programmes. There are some structures and services already directed at supporting young people, which are implemented by government, civil society and faith based organizations. However, demand outstrips supply and a more strategic focus is required.

Despite the fragility of current systems and infrastructure, Solomon Islands’ recovery has begun to move forward. It will only be sustainable with the assistance and support of young people. The road to recovery entails the active involvement of young people who have a strong sense of identity – provincially and nationally. Their energy needs to be redirected and harnessed into active participation at all levels of government and within the community. For this to happen, it is imperative that the government makes good on its stronger commitment to youth as displayed in the new National Youth Policy, thereby facilitating the process of recovery and change. Please note that a number of the recommendations in the Pacific Overview and Regional Recommendations chapter are relevant to Honiara as well.

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs’ -Solomon Islands (2012) highlighted considerable problems with child labour:

In 2011, the Solomon Islands made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government passed the Immigration Act 2012, which prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking in persons and provides specific legal protections against the trafficking of children. While the Government met some goals of its National Children’s Policy’s National Plan of Action for 2010-2015, education is not compulsory and laws do not adequately protect all children from hazardous work and commercial sexual exploitation. The Government has also not established a body to coordinate efforts to combat child labor, and resources for enforcement are lacking. Children in the Solomon Islands continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor, including commercial sexual exploitation, particularly in association with the fishing and logging industries.