A few highlights:
- Greater investment in education should include human rights, anti-discrimination, democracy and citizenship.
- Forget accolades about fresh and interesting ideas from young people.
- Data collection about youth civic engagement needs urgent attention.
- Meaningful youth input in decision making, specifically resource allocation and outcomes.
Countries that perform best in youth civic participation are largely those that rank near the bottom of overall rankings in the Index. Colombia, South Africa, India, Tanzania, Indonesia, Ghana, Uganda, Thailand, Australia, and the United Kingdom are rated the best, and of these countries, only three (Australia, United Kingdom, and Thailand) rank in the top ten.
The United States ranks 6th overall but 20th in youth citizen involvement. Reasons given include the lack of youth policies or outdated ones, higher age to run for elected office, negative youth perception, with young people feeling less valued and under served by their government.
Let’s hope the audience for this Pocket Guide for Policymakers take seriously these priorities. As the authors warn, “If we do not heed this call from our next generation, we do so at our own peril.”