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Promoting Youth’s Agency in Peacebuilding & More

Around the world, young people disproportionately suffer the consequences of armed conflict, organized violence, and systemic exclusion and injustice.

It is estimated that approximately 23 percent of the youth population aged 15 to 29 live in a region affected by violent conflict or organized violence, including civil wars, localized intergroup conflict, trafficking and warlordism, and violent extremism. Such violence has detrimental effects on young people’s safety, wellbeing, and development, increasing youth’s risk of displacement, disability, trafficking, exploitation, and psychosocial disorder, as well as inability to access education and safe employment. Although less widely referenced, it is increasingly recognized that youth suffer structural and psychological violence as a result of being disproportionately affected by entrenched injustice and inequality, such as political oppression, corruption, disenfranchisement, unemployment, and discrimination.


This “violence of exclusion” means that, although youth are disproportionately affected by direct, structural, and cultural violence, they are less able to access and participate in the decision-making arenas that affect them, including formal and informal peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction processes. Young people who do seek to participate in or to shift traditional power structures may face backlash or retribution.


Transformative Peace recognizes that a comprehensive approach to youth engagement in peacebuilding must address the complex challenges that youth face in conflict-affected contexts, as well as their need for protection when they engage in peace and development initiatives. Moreover, supporting youth’s engagement in peace processes should neither patronize nor instrumentalize their contribution, but rather, must recognize them as autonomous actors with agency. Here are six best practices for youth engagement in peacebuilding:


Saying Goodbye to our Inaugural Intern and Welcoming our New 2021 Fall Nonresident Fellow and Intern


This month we said goodbye to our inaugural intern, Victoria Friedlander and welcomed our new Nonresident Fellow, Tanna Krewson.


During her internship, Victoria contributed to ongoing research projects, conflict monitoring and social media content development. We wish her all the best as she moves on to the next stages of her career!


Meet Tanna Krewson

Tanna joins us with experience developing and managing programming through The Carter Center, CARE, and Vibha, Inc. Previously, she spent six years in the United States Army and worked with several humanitarian organizations in Mozambique and South Sudan. She has designed and implemented research on barriers to women's empowerment, sexual and gender-based violence, access to justice, national identity, and corporate social responsibility. We look forward to having her on the team!


Meet Josh DuBois

A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Josh received his B.A. in Peace War and Defense with a concentration in global security and a minor in Conflict Management. Before coming to Transformative Peace, Josh worked with local initiatives in Durham, North Carolina, to empower inner-city children and teenagers to foster healthy and productive lifestyles. Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, he spent his formative years growing up in Europe before moving to North Carolina.


Upcoming Transformative Conversation

We are excited to be hosting our fifth Transformative Conversation with Dr. Marie-Joelle Zahar on the Critical Role of Civil Society in Peace Building. Join us on Friday, October 1st at 12pm EST to examine the critical role of civil society and unpack the practical and political barriers to greater inclusion. Don't forget to register!


About our Guest Expert:

Dr. Marie-Joëlle Zahar is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Research Network on Peace Operations at the Université de Montréal. A specialist of civil wars, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction, she is particularly interested in the use of violence by non-state armed actors as well as in questions of inclusion in peace processes. A non-resident senior fellow with the International Peace Institute, she has also served on the UN Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisers from March 2014 to August 2016 as well as in the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria in 2017.


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