Youth, Conflict and Protection

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Youth, Conflict and Protection

Below is a list of questions to serve as a starting framework for the discussion in this thread:

  • How are young people affected in armed hostilities, conflict zones and segregated communities worldwide?
  • How to help youth cope with the unraveling of different histories?
  • How could the potential negative outcomes be prevented?
  • How to help youth cope with the negative experiences?
  • What role do youth play in reconciliation and conflict transformation?
  • Share stories of success 
Lessons learned?

It would be great to share some stories or lessons learned.  Perhaps even some "good practice" but even some "bad practice" because we can learn from it all.  So what stories of youth reconcilers do you have or know?  How can we empower youth in reconciliation?  Here are two interesting stories, one from 2011 about young muslim peacemakers  at the conference center that my organization runs in (also worth checking out for great "face to face discussions") and something much more recent  

Need to empower youth across the silos... and they can help

While empowering youth in the field of reconciliation is extremely important, I would also like to underline that there are many sectors in which youth are under-represented and not included nearly enough.  I would propose that including youth in meaningful ways in peace, human rights, development and business (to name a few sectors) is an important endeavour, but still not enough. 

These extremely separate sectors, which can often be considered silos, also need meaningful connections between them.  The complex problems of today cannot be answered by any one sector (let alone organization) alone.  We need a concerted effort where business learns to work with peace organizations and development with human rights and all with one another.

In this effort I believe that youth can be extremely helpful as they see the world in a more holistic way and are less effected by our over-specialization and siloed approaches. 

Global or Local?

I find the example ( provided by Rainer very interesting. Extremely Together aims to produce a guide by 10 young leaders who are all active in preventing and countering violent extremism in their communities and beyond. This can serve as an important global project that can beneifit all youth around the world. However, no every youth necessarily know these 10 young leaders, which might negatively influence their impact on individuals. Is there more local examples how people guide and train each other in a smaller community or from a more local approach? How can these two ways (global and local) different from each other and how can they work together? 


local approach

I just posted this link in another comment, but it's a great resource and example of a local approach, led by youth - so I feel it is definitely worth posting again.

It is the 'Meet me at the Bell Tower' movement and it has a link to Belltower 101, with instructions on how any community can create a similar momement or rally. I would also recommend checking out the Bear Clan Patrol, which is not entirely youth led, but has strong youth participation and advocacy. They all include training components that encourage similar movements in other towns and cities.