Latin America & The Caribbean:
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Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
ECLAC, one of the five regional commissions of the UN based in Chile, undertakes studies and research, promotes economic and social development, disseminates information, and provides advisory services to governments at their request. Its 2008–2009 work plan focuses on young people in terms of research on population development.
International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Youth employment represents one of the specific priorities in ILO regional programming. Besides research and publications, ILO provides toolkits and resources for young people to use in their efforts to enhance their employability.
OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)—UN Human Rights Latin America
With the mandate to promote and protect human rights, OHCHR concentrates its efforts on the fight against poverty, inequality, and discrimination through monitoring and direct action. OHCHR works to ensure that national institutions, laws, and programs comply with human rights standards, that governments implement the recommendations of UN human rights mechanisms and bodies, and that steps are taken to allow groups that are marginalized or discriminated against to participate in public policy decision-making and monitoring processes. In the Latin American context, OHCHR focuses on issues related to public safety and violence, including those related to organized crime, drug trafficking, and juvenile gangs. In 2008–2009, OHCHR will have a presence in ten countries of the region: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Information on its overall expenditure on youth is not publicly available.
UNESCO Latin America and the Caribbean
UNESCO in LAC operates through its cluster, regional, and country offices located in 11 countries. Its mission is to assist the Latin American and Caribbean countries in the definition of relevant policy strategies in education. Its main goals are to increase the quality of education for all and promote lifelong learning; increase the awareness of scientific knowledge and policies related to science; address new ethical and social problems; promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and a culture of peace; and to build knowledge societies. Among its many activities, it supports a youth information portal for the region and one for professionals dealing with youth issues.
UNICEF Juventud opina
UNICEF works with adolescents through its program Juventud opina, which focuses on information for and participation of young people.
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Considering that 40% of the total population in LAC is under 18 years of age, UNICEF activities in the region include policy advocacy and partnerships to protect and promote children’s rights, and to put children at the center of public policy, laws, and budgets. Its policy efforts focus mainly on applying the Convention on the Rights of the Child and providing support for the MDG implementation in the areas of health, education, HIV/AIDS, protection, adolescents, and public policies.
UNICEF “What Young People Think” Survey: Latin America
“La Voz—The Voices of Children and Adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean” presents the results of a regional survey conducted across 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The poll was supported by UNICEF country offices in the region and the Spanish Committee for UNICEF. Representing the opinions of 103 million children, the multicountry survey is the first initiative of its kind. The study took inspiration from Articles 12 and 13 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which state that every child has the right to participation and freedom of expression.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Latin America and the Caribbean
The UNDP Regional Office focuses on five main priorities: democratic governance, poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, environment and energy, and crisis prevention and recovery. Young people represent an implicit priority, which is not directly articulated in the programming and yet represents a large target audience in its community development projects aiming toward reaching the MDGs.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Latin America and the Caribbean
Focusing on poverty eradication, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, and changing perceptions of gender, UNFPA contributes by developing expertise and providing situation analyses, as well as supporting programs often targeting young people in the region. Its programs are not framed explicitly in terms of youth policy, although at the national level UNFPA programs may well contribute to youth policy in a direct way.
United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Latin America and the Caribbean
Providing schemes for international volunteering, UNV is gradually growing in importance in Latin America. Following the United Nations Development Programme—mainly MDG-related—agenda, UNV reaches young people as well as civil society and local authority institutions by addressing issues related to community development, gender, participation, citizenship, and so on.
World Bank in Latin America
The World Bank has successfully supported national youth policy development efforts in several countries through the Youth Voices conferences. In seven countries of the region, the World Bank is contributing to the development of national social and labor policies that are important to young people. A specific programming focus has been on youth at risk.