|Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, accepting the final draft of the National Youth Policy from (right), Chairman of the NYP Coordinating Committee, Derek Alleyne, consultant, Dr. Ivan Henry, and Chairman of the National Youth Forum Interim Steering Committee, Alvin Mayers.|
The final draft of the National Youth Policy (NYP) has been completed and a copy of it is now in the hands of the Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said it would be discussed at Cabinet’s Sub-Committee on Social Policy on Monday, November 28.
"From there, it will go to the full Cabinet for its approval, following which the document will be tabled in Parliament for a full debate," he disclosed.
Mr. Lashley pointed out that it would be the first time a comprehensive National Youth Policy would be debated in Parliament.
Chairman of the NYP Coordinating Committee, Derek Alleyne, its consultant, Dr. Ivan Henry, and representatives of the National Youth Forum recently presented Minister Lashley with the document. After receiving it he said: "I am very pleased to have in my possession the final draft of what is indeed a very important policy, which will guide the government’s developmental agenda for young people in Barbados.
"I am satisfied the policy has benefitted from wide-ranging consultations and bears the stamp of the voices of Barbadian youth who are now being called upon to take their rightful place in the decision-making process."
Mr. Lashley added that the draft NYP had also benefitted from best practices within the Commonwealth Youth Programme. "Once approved, this policy could become a template to be followed by other countries which are now in the process of developing or revising their own youth policies," he suggested.
Work on the policy paper started 18 months ago, and wide consultations were held with stakeholders, particularly the youth, who had significant input in the preparation of the document.
A Youth Policy is defined as "a national framework that gives form and direction to government through which it promotes a particular philosophy and set of programmes for a cohort called youth". The age range of youth is set at 15 to 29 years.