Progress Study Thematic Papers
The Progress Study drew on the thematic expertise of scholars and practitioners to analyze key areas related to the Youth, Peace & Security agenda. Numerous partner organizations developed thematic background papers and country-level analyses, to inform the Study and also help guide their own institutional thinking around youth, peace and security. These papers provide background research, specific evidence, analytical thinking and recommendations on specific themes and topics related to the YPS agenda. The views and opinions expressed in these papers are those of the authors / organizations and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any entity of the United Nations.
By Igarapé Insitute (Robert Muggah, Juan Carlos Garzón and Manuela Suárez) (commissioned)
The focus of this report is on the intended and unintended consequences of mano dura in Latin America, particularly as they relate to youth. The assessment draws on available evidence that, albeit patchy, offers a state of the art overview of the real costs and benefits of repressive approaches to public security and criminal justice provision. A parallel goal of the report is to also highlight the positive contribution of young people to promoting safety and security in their neighborhoods, communities, cities and countries. It considers the definition of mano dura, explores discrete categories of mano dura intervention, and also examines the costs and benefits of prevention, underlining the cost and benefits for every dollar invested.
By The SecDev Group (commissioned)
With the emergence of the Internet and social media, the world has entered a new era. These technologies and platforms offer tremendous potential to promote peace and resolve pressing problems. Yet, they also give rise to complex risks and vulnerabilities. Digitally enabled youth are on the frontlines. They can be powerful agents for peace, but can also be exposed to and influenced by predatory agents. For the Youth, Peace and Security agenda to be successful, engaging youth and supporting their contribution to peace both offline and online is essential. To that end, this background paper highlights a number of promising Peacetech initiatives and approaches to harnessing technology to support the YPS agenda. It also underscores a number of fundamental constraints and challenges that deserve attention from international and national actors.
Youth, Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace: Quantitative Evidence and Future Directions
By UNDP (Patricia Justino) (commissioned)
The effects of violent conflict are not uniform: boys, girls and men and women of different age and social groups are differently affected and challenged by the social, political and economic consequences of armed violence. Yet, this variation in the effects of violent conflict remains under-explored in the empirical literature, particularly with respect to the effects of armed violence on adolescents and young adults. The main purpose of this study is to address some of these literature gaps. The study has two specific objectives. The first is to assess empirically the differential effects of violent conflict on young people (adolescents and young adults) on their levels of education, job prospects and forms of civic engagement. The second objective is to investigate using available datasets the potential role of young people in supporting or promoting peace and stability in their communities. The research was based on original empirical analysis conducted in four country case studies: Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico and Nepal.
By Berghof Foundation (Mir Mubashir and Irena Grizelj) (submitted)
Young people - individuals, organisations and networks - constructively involve themselves in socio-political development and change, peacebuilding, peacemaking and conflict transformation. These constructive involvements can be seen to be embodied within a youth space: a multi-dimensional space within the sociopolitical context that young people create, shape and sustain. Is there, within this space, also a space of dialogue and mediation, where young people are transforming conflicts with a dialogic and mediative approach? The question has, by and large, been left unanswered.
By Inter-Parliamentary Union (Yvonne Kemper) (submitted)
This paper highlights linkages between youth participation in parliament and peace and security in the world, particularly in four post-conflict or transition contexts (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia). Youth are vastly underrepresented among the world’s parliamentarians, which undermines the legitimacy of institutions, exacerbates feelings of disempowerment among youth, and limits parliaments’ ability to address key issues that affect youth. This paper identifies areas where improved youth participation in parliament has resulted in positive outcomes and discusses the challenges that remain.
By United States Institute for Peace (submitted)
Both youth and religious actors, despite having what are often shared objectives but a mutual sense of differing priorities and values, are eager for more meaningful engagement with the other; trust needs to be built between youth leaders and traditional and nontraditional religious leaders. In leveraging the legitimacy of youth and religious leaders to engage vulnerable communities, peacebuilding practitioners and the international community can more effectively support efforts to prevent violent conflict. Including religious actors, youth leaders, and religious youth in peace dialogues on local, national, and international levels is thus critical to creating sustainable peace.
Young People on the Move and their engagement in Peace & Security: Case Study from the North of Central America and South Sudan
By UNHCR (Paige Jennings) (submitted)
UNHCR has selected two situations that are in many ways at opposite ends of the spectrum of displacement. In the first, young South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and Uganda in many ways face a ‘traditional’ refugee situation, while in the second situation the displacement from the North of Central America countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, is not due to armed conflict, but increased violence by organized armed criminal actors. The research identifies youth ‘dividers’ (sources of tension for youth) and ‘connectors’ (potential mechanisms for peace for youth). Relationships between connectors and dividers were examined through the optic of youth resilience, focusing on youth as individuals, in families, in communities, as citizens of countries of origin, in countries of asylum and regionally.
By UN Women (submitted)
This background paper reflects on the lessons learned from the WPS agenda, recognizing that women are not a homogenous group, and that gender is “one axis of difference which intersects with manyother forms of identity and experience” including age, a determining factor in women’s livedexperiences and contributions to peace and security.4 In this regard, this paper provides an overview of the various roles young women play in conflict situations and peace processes as well as the different ways they are affected by armed conflict. It aims to explore how gendered dynamics play out in peace and security, especially for young women. The paper further identifies gaps and barriers to the full engagement, recognition and contributions of young women in building sustainable peace. By highlighting existing gaps in the current knowledge base, it identifies areas where more targeted research and analysis is needed to better inform policy development and continue to build the evidence base supporting the important contribution young women make as agents of change in building sustainable peace. Increasing young women’s participation in policy, programming and decision-making processes has catalytic potential for efforts to prevent, mitigate and recover from conflict.
By Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu (Lund University) (submitted)
This paper first deconstructs how UNSCR 2250 constructs “youth”, especially from within the context of the dominant discourse on youth and security. It then goes on to describe how UNSCR 2250 discusses gender, as well as the opportunities and challenges that UNSCR 2250 presents towards ensuring gender-just peace. This working paper presents some recommendations and, in the conclusion, calls for UN bodies, policy makers, activists and youth peacebuilders alike to seriously consider the knowledge and literature on gender-just peace and transitional justice in their overall effort to bring about sustainable peace in our ever-globalizing world.
By SDSN Youth (Julian Payne, Antoine Warembourg, and Jalal Awan) (submitted)
This thematic paper investigates the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on youth, peace and security. Food insecurity, water stress, forced migration and economic recessions are some of the impacts associated with climate
change, which has been termed a ‘threat multiplier’. However, the ways in which climate change uniquely impacts the security and development prospects of youth
populations remains as of yet unstudied. An analysis of the impact of climatic events on youth, peace and security is critical for understanding the underlying mechanisms for how forced migration, conflict and security challenges apply specifically to young people. It is further important to help inform young people and youth leaders on how to solve development challenges.
By Mieke Lopes Cardozo & Giovanni Scotto (in collaboration with INEE) (submitted)
This report reflects on ways in which education systems (formal and non-formal) and actors are related to the five pillars that constitute the basis of UNSCR 2250. It outlines key drivers of violence and inequality within and/or fostered by education, and discusses the transformative potential of various educational spaces. Specific examples of challenges and pitfalls as well as of the support that eeducation can offer young people in endeavors to address conflict and build peace offer insight in to the necessary key steps to design and implement effective formal and non-formal mechanisms for learning and transformation.
By Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (Theophilus Ekpon) (submitted)
The Lake Chad Basin countries of Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been marred by violence since the advent and rise of violent extremist groups like Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, and Mujao. The constant involvement of some young people as perpetrators of violence has led several segments of society to stereotype them as the problem. However, the solution to violent extremism and other threats to safety and stability of the countries in the Lake Chad region can be found in working with young people, and tapping into their talents and potentials to reform and rebuild society. This report highlights some of the localized drivers of violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin countries, and enumerates some of the concrete initiatives by and for young people that are aimed at preventing violent extremism in the region.
By United Nations Volunteers (submitted)
Under Agenda 2030 the world needs new ways to tackle the scale and scope of the global challenges to peace that confront us. Evidence suggests that youth volunteerism can provide opportunities and mechanisms for the activities envisioned under UNSCR 2250. Around the world, young people are engaged in strengthening peace in a variety of ways through voluntary action - from youth activists supporting civic engagement online and offline, to those involved in cross-community and cross-cultural initiatives with their peers, to young people providing protection for their communities from small-scale conflict. This background paper looks at the contribution that volunteerism can make to engaging young people effectively for peace and security, and looks at potentially distinctive characteristics that youth volunteerism can bring to peace and security efforts, and the enabling environment required to ensure that young people can be positively engaged as a force for peace across diverse contexts.
The Role of Youth in Nuclear Disarmament: Examining the Project, “The People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition”
By Soka Gakkai International (submitted)
Nuclear weapons pose a significant impact on international peace and security, and their abolition is a goal shared by many Member States of the United Nations. Highlighting youth contributions in this area is critical to understanding the youth contribution to peace and security under the YPS framework. This paper discusses youth engagement in awareness-raising and educational activities, which relate to the UNSCR 2250, in particular three pillars of Participation, Prevention and Participation. It in-depth information from Japan and Italy, two countries that are not necessarily affected by prominent issues dealt in the UNSCR 2250 such as armed conflicts or youth radicalization, but can offer unique insight into the YPS agenda.
By International Center for Transitional Justice (Viriginie Ladisch) (submitted)
The aim of transitional justice efforts is to catalyze longer-term processes of social and political change that challenge impunity and advance acknowledgment, dignity, and respect for rights. Youth are key political and social stakeholders that have much to contribute, and gain from, transitional justice processes. Yet, youth often remain marginalized from such processes, or are given only a limited and predetermined space to engage. In the transitional justice field, it is important to shift thinking as well and to develop a more nuanced and deliberate approach to working with youth. Considering youth should be a central analytical lens for transitional justice, not a side topic or after thought. Reflecting on ICTJ’s work with youth over the past several years, this briefing seeks to advance guiding principles and approaches for meaningfully engaging youth in transitional justice work.
Data for Youth, Peace and Security: A summary of research findings from the Institute for Economics & Peace
By Institute of Economics & Peace (Talia Hagerty) (submitted)
IEP estimates that nearly 408 million youth live in a state or province where armed conflict took place in 2016, which suggests that nearly 1 in 4 youth globally are affected, in some way, by armed conflict. A large youth population should not necessarily be seen as a precursor to violence: all of the world’s most peaceful countries have small or medium sized youth populations, but not all of the world’s least peaceful countries have large youth cohorts, and not all of the large youth populations are in the least peaceful places. Creating a high positive peace environment for young people can prevent breakdowns in peacefulness, and filling data gaps can yield even stronger evidence-based policy recommendations for youth, peace and security – and build institutional capacity along the way.
By Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (submitted)
Many youth are already active in promoting peace and development within their
communities, but require additional support in ensuring their voices are heard, particularly
at the national and international levels. Based on country case studies on youth engagement
in Burma/Myanmar and Tunisia, this paper identifies how international peace and
development NGOs, bilateral donors and UN agencies can strengthen the inclusion of youth.
Many of the recommendations are also relevant for local, regional and national actors.
By Saferworld (submitted)
Saferworld is an international NGO working to prevent conflict and build peace in over 20 conflict-affected and fragile contexts around the world, and aside from programming also produces research and evidence to inform national and international policy makers on issues related to peace and security, and advocate for change. This submission reflects the organization's conviction that the empowerment of youth and fulfillment of their potential is of vital significance for the effectiveness of the UN’s efforts to champion peace, human rights and development in support of the entitlement of all people to lead peaceful, fulfilling lives free from the scourge of violent conflict. The report suggests practical options for ensuring progress in practice.
By Plan International (submitted)
Plan International has developed this submission to inform the Progress Study. It describes the key issues related to youth in the humanitarian field, as well as in human rights and migration. It offers insight into lessons that can be learned from the humanitarian and human rights experiences in terms of monitoring, reporting, and accountability, for both the Member States and the multilateral system, and how Geneva-based protection mechanisms and processes can address more effectively risks and vulnerabilities faced by young people in conflict situations as well as the barriers preventing their participation in peacebuilding.