Population and Development Report No. 5 - Youth Exclusion in the ESCWA Region: Demographic, Economic, Educational and Cultural Factors

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Social exclusion is an important emerging issue within social research and in the management of social issues. Social workers and social policymakers agree on the difficulty of measuring social exclusion. However, they recognize that human populations experience exclusion in varying degrees and most societies include groups vulnerable to it; mainly those social and economic groups experiencing life cycle transformations, such as young people, especially those aged 15-24 years. The report notes that exclusion does not have a single cause. Rather, its production or re-production is determined by a multiplicity of mechanisms and by the interrelation of personal and institutional determinants. Exclusion is variable, inconstant and unstable; it changes from place to place and time to time. The demographic weight is not necessarily a major factor in limiting youth integration; it depends on the interplay between the various governmental and non-governmental institutions that contribute collectively to the promotion of youth participation in education and labour markets. The report concludes that in formulating national youth policies, it is important to refer to international initiatives for guidance. It proposes a number of recommendations emphasizing the need for taking immediate temporary measures to address the multiple facets of exclusion suffered by victims of illiteracy, unemployment and social marginalization, as well as the need to enact legislation and develop strategies designed to pre-empt youth exclusion in the future. The report also recommends adopting an approach based on youth involvement in the various phases of developing policies and programmes, while providing the necessary funding for the success of such policies and programmes.

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