Posted by Peace Direct on
Image credit: Papaioannou Kostas via Unsplash
Earlier this year, we called on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to announce measures to support the fundamental human rights of young people. Today, we commend the introduction of bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Congress that recognizes the positive role young people play in peace and security. The legislation also commits the U.S. to greater support for youth-led peacebuilding.
The global youth population now stands at over 1.8 billion, and in conflict-affected regions around the world, young people make up the majority of the population. Around the world, they are at the forefront of global movements against climate change, violence, and injustice such as #BlackLivesMatter, #ENDSARs, and #MilkTeaAlliance. Young people are building movements for change in Colombia, Myanmar/Burma, Nigeria, the United States, and many other places. This legislation comes at a critical time to ensure that their efforts to resolve conflict are supported and acknowledged.
We applaud the leadership of members of the U.S House of Representatives Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in supporting this policy change.
“This is a critical moment for the U.S government to follow up on their commitments to protecting young people. We need to see genuine and sustained government support that acknowledges the efforts of young people building peace in their communities, and help protects them against growing threats they face. The YPS Act is an important step to creating the policy environment where young people are valued as change makers and future leaders.” – Bridget Moix, U.S. Executive Director
The H.R.4838 legislation—the Youth, Peace, and Security Act of 2021 (YPS Act)—recognizes the vital role youth play in reducing violent conflict and building peace. Their efforts help de-escalate tensions, stop conflict from spreading, prevent recurring cycles of violence, improve the effectiveness and sustainability of peace agreements, and strengthen a culture of peace and security.
This change in policy is a critical opportunity to support young peacebuilders. We will continue working to ensure U.S policy makers empower, resource and include the efforts of young people to prevent and resolve conflict around the world.
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