Building Political Power in the Caribbean Youth

We need to encourage young political leaders to fight hegemonic, ageist powers within the state while not marginalizing non-political youth groups.

Youth membership in nongovernmental organizations is unfathomably low and throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, there is no vibrant youth “movement” as seen during the 1960s and 1990s. There is a general lack of confidence of youth in the National Youth Councils in advancing their cause. Most significantly, the critical distance among wide sections of young people have from the political process – a mix of disenfranchisement and downplaying the significance of the state – undermines their citizenship and agency in the development process. More than ever, as one of the most organized youth institutions in the region, political youth arms need to challenge the party leadership internally to empower youth in the decision-making process and build consultative and caucusing mechanisms with activist youth organizations in order to translate the voices of youth into state policy.

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