Urban youth face challenges that need to urgently be addressed. The global youth unemployment rate, which is estimated at 12.6 per cent in 2013, is creating an environment in which young people are unable to satisfy their basic needs. As demonstrated by the mass protests in many cities globally, young people believe that their voices are not being heard and their needs are not being addressed.
All these issues are exacerbated by the lack of engagement of youth in governance at all levels which in turn undermines their rights as citizens. As this report demonstrates, youth citizenship and engagement in governance is about more than political engagement. It is as much about dealing with limited access to economic resources and socio-political assets. This begins with engaging youth as equal partners, recognizing their rights to participatein decision-making processes and to productively use their knowledge, perspectives, and experience.