6 Jun 2011

Pacific youth crime report calls for young people to be given more responsibility

2:05 pm on 6 June 2011

A new report on youth crime and violence in the Pacific calls for young people to be more involved in making the decisions that affect their lives.

The multi-agency research looks at youth aged 15 to 24, in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

The report identifies the factors that increase the probability that young people will get involved with crime and or violence, among them lack of employment opportunities and meaningful recreation.

A coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme, Knut Ostby, says not enough is being made of young people's potential.

"This is the first time there's a regional report addressing specifically crime and violence issue related to youth. And it's given a voice directly to some of the youth affected. And it's important to take note that these voices are saying that 'youth are not only part of the problem, they're also part of the solution."

A UNDP co-ordinator, Knut Ostby.