Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Defining "youth"

There exist many different and overlapping definitions of "youth":
  • youth is defined as those aged 14-25, both in school and out of school -- and this is generally the approach taken in this book.
  • The UN formally defines youth as 15-24.
  • Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is a clear distinction between those under 18 (children) and those over 18 (adults).
  • Many African and Asian youth organizations allow their members to be aged up to 35.
  • some consider only students in high school part of their "youth programme", while others include 35-year-old post-graduate students within their youth programmes, as long as they participate through student groups.
Having a clear definition of "youth" allows an organization to make more effective decisions in terms of choosing partners to work with, developing materials, and appointing activists or staff to hold a "youth brief".