According to the United Nations, more than 1.5 billion people are between the ages of 10 and 25. This largest-ever generation of adolescents is approaching adulthood in a world their elders could not have imagined. Globalization, the AIDS pandemic, electronic communications and a changing climate have irrevocably shifted the landscape.
UNPFA reports that the scenario is mixed. As young people share ideas, values, music and symbols through mass media and electronic technology, a global youth culture has emerged. Many are organizing and networking themselves in both formal and informal ways.
But more than half of young people live in poverty, on less than $2 per day. Often they lack access to the technology and information. Many also face social inequality, poor schools, gender discrimination, unemployment and inadequate health systems. They deserve better. And investing in them is an investment in the future leaders of families, communities and nations.
In preparation for the launch of a global campaign for adolescent rights, UNFPA retained EqualShot to develop two important communications tools - an introductory brochure outlining the challenges facing adolescents in low-income countries and a handbook containing adolescent programming development tips. Currently, the documents are being distributed throughout the world to bring attention to issues specific to young people.