UNDP explores areas of intervention for youth violence prevention in Nepal

21 Dec 2013

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In line with UNDP's larger goal to promote sustainable peace and non-violence in the context of Nepal's  post-conflict transition, the AVRSCS project carried out a consultative assessment of existing policies, programmes and best practices on youth violence prevention and the prospects of intervention in the nine target districts of Tarai.

The assessment, which involved a series of youth workshops between October and December 2013, explored areas where UNDP can add value and identify catalytic initiatives to be implemented through local stakeholders.

The study is expected to help frame a more nuanced approach to youth violence prevention in Nepal, which has been recording high incidents of youth involvement in crimes and violence, where use of small arms is a common phenomenon. Studies by the Government of Nepal show that 24 % of youth and adolescents faced physical violence from their family members.

The youth workshops brought together a total of 167 participants representing GOs and NGOs working on youth violence prevention and engaged them in identifying the key actors and the activities, the major challenges, policy hurdles, and possible areas and activities where UNDP can support and collaborate. 

The assessments made through workshops with local stakeholders provided an updated perspective on the underpinnings of violence, and measures to address the problem. Based on the findings from the workshops, UNDP is developing a Youth Engagement Strategy, which aims at guiding the project's future course of events in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Bara, Parsa, Dhanusha, Saptari and Morang.

The assessment found that the existing activities and program on youth are of three major types: 1) household-based, 2) school-based and 3) community based. 

Issues of domestic violence, gender-based violence (GBV), drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, corporal punishment, caste discrimination, child labour, unemployment and political violence were the most common problems facing the youth in the districts. With extremely scarce resources, the local stakeholders basically engaged themselves in measures like awareness raising campaigns, behavior change communications and skills development trainings for youths and curative and counseling programs for the victims of violence.

Among them the most effective were the youth-led focused activities, such as door-to-door campaigns on specific issues, FM radio programs, life skills trainings, income-generation programs, school-level orientations and peer education.

Existing program, however, are unable to give tangible results largely owing to the lack of a sustainable approach and an effective coordination. The workshops also pointed out to some policy caveats, including the lack of effective monitoring of the implementation of National Youth Policy.