26 Jul 2019

New Caledonia to trial Iceland youth programme

12:06 pm on 26 July 2019

Three towns in New Caledonia have decided to adopt an approach used in Iceland aimed at lowering youth offending.

Harvey Milkman

Harvey Milkman Photo: MSU Denver

Twenty years ago, Iceland gathered information from teenagers about their habits, prompting programmes to be developed that now involve 99 percent of them.

At the behest of New Caledonia's Industry Federation, an American psychology professor Harvey Milkman has carried out surveys in Dumbea, Mont-Dore and Kone which all want to follow the Icelandic model.

This means sports programmes, activities shared with parents and a 10pm curfew for those under 16.

Professor Milkman said the New Caledonia survey showed that almost half of those under-13 years of age have consumed alcohol and nine percent have smoked cannabis.

He said in Iceland over a 20-year period, the percentage of youth being drunk in the course of a month dropped from 20 percent to seven percent.

New Caledonia is faced with rising delinquency rates by young people under the influence of alcohol and cannabis.