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Developing and Implementing Youth-Friendly Public Policies: A Perspective into the Arab Region

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Part of the Global Perspectives on Health Geography book series (GPHG)

Abstract

Youth comprise a quarter of the world’s population, living in a rapidly changing world that is characterized by growing digital economy, changing labor markets, conflicts, and climate change. Although the number of adolescents and youth is expected to continue rising, they remain prevalently neglected and the least served population group. Their rights and needs are often compromised in many parts of the world, particularly countries with a large proportion of a young population. Despite representing a significant and growing number, youth are found to be disempowered, disenfranchised, and disenchanted in the Middle East and North Africa area. It is recognized that involving youth in public decision-making processes plays an important role in ensuring the realization of their rights. However, the demand for recognition of the right of young people to be heard, to have their views considered, and to play an active role in promoting their own best interests is far from respected. Youth tend to feel that their voices are not heard nor do they have any role in the decision-making process. The reason for this is that governments and societies firmly believe that young people are too young to make decisions and to make a difference. Similarly, they are rarely afforded equitable access to opportunities. Among the many other issues facing youth in the Middle East and North Africa region are high rates of youth unemployment, increased rates of child marriage, lack of gender equality, limited access to health services particularly sexual and reproductive health services, and limited roles in civic participation and engagement. Additionally, it is known that investing in youth education has not been imminent, despite many of these emerging issues. This chapter will envisage the importance of developing and implementing youth-friendly public policies that may restore the youth’s trust and belonging to their countries.

Keywords

  • MENA Youth policy
  • Youth- Friendly policies
  • Sexual and Reproductive health
  • National strategy for Youth
  • Youth development
  • Youth participation

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Correspondence to Jennifer Dabis .

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Dabis, J., Allabadi, H. (2022). Developing and Implementing Youth-Friendly Public Policies: A Perspective into the Arab Region. In: Barakat, C., Al Anouti, F. (eds) Adolescent Mental Health in The Middle East and North Africa. Global Perspectives on Health Geography. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91790-6_5

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