In India, 65 percent of the population is under the age of 35 years
India ranks 135 out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index, 2022
India ranks 122 out of 152 countries on the Youth Development Index
Budget allocation for 2021-22 for core youth affairs and leadership in India, is just ₹21 (approximately) per young person.
Young people’s participation in politics is alarmingly low; the representation for people under 30 years of age is just 0.2%.
Our Story (Background)
As a developing country, youth in India are facing multiple complex problems of education, employment and climate change etc.; but the biggest and most ignored is the degrading social fabric. This is worst for any society but specifically for India due to its diversity. This diversity is being manipulated for political motives using media and narratives to increase the gap. Discrimination, hate speech and violence have become so common that opposing these as a pacifist is an invitation to be labelled as anti-national. In recent times, India has also witnessed the growth of young people as a vital demographic and a powerful agent of change and progress. Young people, aged 15-29, have the power to shape policy, influence communities for positive change and furthermore build and sustain peace across society.
After years of advocacy by young people and youth-focused organizations, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 was passed on 9 December 2015, which is binding on all member states, including India. and It calls on various actors to recognise and support youth as peacebuilders, engage youth as partners and leaders, increase the meaningful participation of youth in decision making, as well as to prevent and resolve conflict and prevent violent extremism. This is Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda.
India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with about 65 per cent of the population under 35 years of age and 380 million youth (15-29 years old). At the same time, India has been lying in the bottom 30 countries, for years, in the Global Peace Index (GPI). In 2021, India stood at 135th position, among 163 countries, and fifth in the South Asian region. Still, the National Youth Policy 2014 of India having 94-pager policy document, has the words like ‘education’, ‘skills’ and ‘employment’ been referred for 105 times, 71 and 45 times respectively but ‘Harmony’ for just eight times and most curiously, the word ‘peace’ gets no mention in the entire document. So, even when young people are among the most affected by multiple and often interlinked forms of violence that plague the country and communities, bearing enormous and long-lasting human, social and economic costs, India neither seems to accept this context and its adverse effect on youth nor address the violence from perspective of conditions on the ground for the youth.
It’s becoming exceedingly important to engage youth in policy discussions and inclusive decision making, as they have better understanding of the needs of other young people and since 1/3rd of the population is youth. Youth are at the forefront of harnessing the power of oneness and know their community better than anyone else and are committed to create impact against the challenges and limitations. Youth are an indicator of hope. Youth are the peacebuilders.
The Indian Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) was launched at the end of 2019 by Youth for Peace International with the aim of mobilising young people across the country around the YPS agenda, and of creating a common platform for action. The creation of the Coalition came about from the realisation that there are not enough youth-led initiatives focusing on peacebuilding in India today. The Indian Coalition has primarily worked on mobilising young people to support the implementation of the UNSCR 2250 and to engage the Indian government in integrating the key features of the YPS agenda.
The Coalition is completely youth-led when it comes to decision-making, governance, and the implementation of activities. It started with 60 individuals, all of whom were selected with a strong emphasis on inclusivity. And indeed, they represent all of the country’s states and territories, all religious groups, genders, and languages. Most members participate in their personal capacity, but some also have their own organisations. Lastly, the Coalition is also engaging non-youth groups, including the government. This work is indeed seen as necessary to scale up the work of the Coalition in a country where only the government can reach all young people.
FOCUS AREAS OF INTERVENTIONS:
- Funding for Youth Peacebuilding
- Awareness Raising and Communication
- Policy Advocacy
UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250
Recognize, include, and support young people in their peace efforts
YPS is a Global Policy Framework adopted and legally binding on all Member States, including India
It identifies five key pillars for action: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships, and disengagement & reintegration.
The resolution urges the UN Member States to include youth in decision-making at all levels and to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes.
So far, India has made zero progress in implementing this resolution. However, India has the potential to take leadership for this resolution in the Asia region.
Achievements of ICPYS so far
- National In-person Training on the Implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda for network members
- In-person Round Table Discussion on Meaningful Youth Engagement in India: Strengthening the Pillars of Sustainable Peace
- Led advocacy missions with 35 stakeholders in 8 states of India
- Submitted comments on the National Youth Policy 2022 Draft
- National Online Youth Consultation on Youth, Peace and Security to contribute to our youth perspective and to have a common perspective feed into the National Youth Policy that was being developed.
- Conducted awareness-raising sessions for young people on YPS agenda
- Through the mini-grant program we have also supported over 10 peacebuilding projects initiated by network members.
- Built internal capacity of members in participatory research, policy advocacy, conducting online training etc.
- Translated the UNSC Resolution into 5 local languages
- Represented ICYPS and YPS implementation in India in 8+ international conferences and consultations on Peacebuilding
Join our movement today!
Join us for the implementation of Youth, Peace and Security Agenda in India to build lasting peace by ensuring young people are engaged through inclusive, intersectional and youth friendly policies.