World Youth Report 2007 - Young People's Transition to Adulthood Progress and Challenges

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The World Youth Report 2007—Young People’s Transition to Adulthood: Progress and Challenges argues that to benefit from young people’s capabilities, societies must ensure that opportunities for youth to be engaged in development processes are nurtured and protected. Failure to do so can lead to the exclusion and marginalization of youth while depriving societies of their energy, dynamism and innovativeness. The report notes that the ability of youth to contribute to the development of their societies can be constrained not only by lack of capacity among youth, but also by the limited opportunities for participation in development as the global economy and social and political institutions undergo major change. For this reason, there is a pressing need for policies that not only build youth potential, but also open doors to youth participation in areas such as employment, civic engagement, political participation and volunteerism. An enabling environment must be created to provide youth with opportunities to be heard and seen as active players on the development stage. In a review of key issues, opportunities and challenges for youth transitions in different world regions, the report finds that there are many unique aspects to the progress that youth have made and the challenges that they continue to face around the world. A common constraint everywhere, however, is the absence of an enabling environment for youth development and participation. Factors such as inadequate investments in education, high private costs of obtaining quality education and health care, and shrinking labour markets in which youth are often the last hired and first fired all present youth with real obstacles to meaningful participation in the development of their communities.

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