Guyana to hold forum to examine violence among youth

Forum to be held on February 29 and March 1

A regional forum on “Youth Crime and Violence” will begin next week in Guyana with the aim of sensitising Caribbean Community (CARICOM) policy makers, the media and other stakeholders on the major elements of youth crime and violence.

The organisers said that the February 29 to March 1 conference will also provide an opportunity to share good practices with a view to replicating the lessons learned; to explore strategies for a multi-sectoral `whole of society’ response to the challenge and to examine the means for greater collaboration among institutions and development partners to sustain CARICOM’s response to youth crime and violence.

The Forum is an outcome of the CARICOM and the government of Spain project titled “Reducing Youth on Youth Violence” now being piloted in five Caribbean countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

According to the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat each year, approximately 200,000 youths aged 10 to 29 die, and many more sustain serious injuries, because of violence across the world. “

It said youth violence is a global challenge, one which the CARICOM “knows only too well, since youth are both the main perpetrators and victims of such crime in the Community.

But it said that CARICOM is accelerating its fight and that the two-day forum here, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the government of Spain, is an outcome of the two-year CARICOM/Spain project.

“Approximately 100 persons from across CARICOM will engage in interactive sessions centered on four main topics/issues: Violence Against Children; School Violence; Gender Based Violence; and Youth Gangs and Violence, together with the cross cutting themes of gender, culture and other social determinants.

The Forum will employ a mix of feature presentations, panel discussions and video presentations, with participation from a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers in all sectors: law enforcement, the private sector, labour, development partners, civil society, including academia, faith based and community organisations, youth, reformed non-traditional leaders and special interest groups,” the Secretariat added.

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