1. Overview of the International Youth Sector

Outlined in this section are the parameters of the international youth sector as a prelude to the presentation of an in-depth mapping of the international youth sector, the regional youth scenes in several regions of the world and the key international and regional texts that provide the sector’s guiding principles.

2. Scope of the International Youth Sector

The international youth sector is anything but small, even if it is not very well known. It is made up of a wide variety of organizations, with very different missions and reasons for existence. Some have long histories of engagement with youth issues and/or exist for the fulfillment of exclusively youth-specific objectives. Others have discovered only recently that youth issues and young people are key to the implementation of their missions. Others again originate in youth-led social and political movements. It is a highly specialized field, and one with reach into many different themes, from education, to development, to democracy assistance.

A snapshot of the “facts and figures” on the condition and situation of the world’s young people provides a basic overview of some of the human development issues that the international youth sector seeks to address in full cooperation with young people and the scale of action that would be required to address the needs of this population adequately worldwide.

3. Directory of the International Youth Sector

The directory provides information about the different categories of actors engaged in the sector at the global level, the relationships between them, and the many different forms of institutionalized cooperation through which youth policies at the international level are developed.

3.1. Main actors of the sector at international level

The first subsection deals with the main actors of the sector at the international level. These are:

These communities are addressed in detail because they have specific and prominent policies and programs dealing with young people. Their raison d’être or the fundamental objectives of their work are specifically related to young people.

3.2. Institutionalized processes of cooperation

The second subsection deals with the institutionalized processes of cooperation that determine the way in which youth policies are debated and decided upon at the international level. This section specifically covers:

3.3. Mechanisms for the Elaboration of National and International Policies Pertaining to Youth

The third subsection deals with the relatively new idea of quality standards for youth policy development and implementation and several initiatives in the field of youth policy evaluation and assessment, referred to as national and international youth policy reviews.

4. Legislation of the International Youth Sector

In this final section we provide a listing of key international legislation and documents pertaining to youth, i.e. international conventions, political declarations, and other documents.