Youth Policy Manual for Arab Countries

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Young people today live in a very different world from young people a generation ago. In 1988, Europe was still divided between an East and a West, the European Community was a “rich men’s club” of 12 member states focusing on economic development, and travelling abroad was considered a luxury for most people. Today’s dominating communications technologies were unimaginable back then. In January 2011, the Arab world was largely unaware that those very same technologies of the Internet and the camera-equipped mobile phone would be the means of co-ordinating an uprising that would result in the toppling of long- standing governments, of exposing to the world the injustices perpetrated by dictators and for communicating the voice of young people driving those regime changes. Much can be said about the incredible changes that have taken place in the last 20 years and this youth policy manual is not the place for so much history. It is rather a means of supporting the efforts of Euro-Mediterranean countries to improve the lives of young people and involve them at all levels of decision making on issues that have an impact on them. Across the Arab world, as in other parts of the world, governments are developing and revising national youth strategies, youth action plans and youth policy positions in an unprecedented attempt to ensure political and economic integration of young people.


Finn Yrjar Denstad

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