Youth should take a leading role in the post-COVID-19 decision-making, not only to protect their rights and articulate their priorities but also to enhance the scope and aims of social and economic development in meeting the needs of all citizens. However, the trend throughout the Caribbean has been to give lip service to this. Post-COVID-19 efforts by respective governments have centralised power to the state, often at the expense of youth participation.
For this reason, the YCRI published this report. It lists twenty-eight (28) recommendations for the following thematic areas:
- Arts & Culture,
- Public Safety &
- Business & Entrepreneurship.
In addition, the YCRI calls for the following actions toward the effort of youth mainstreaming:
1. Accountability: Establishment of an independent accountability committee to monitor and review the implementation of the national development post-COVID-19 plan
2. Mobilisation: Coordinated mobilisation with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs for a youth-led volunteer project educating the public on youth issues in development, particularly, on the economy, education and public health
3. Research: Youth involvement in the research process on the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s lives, in addition to, data dis-aggregation that illustrates the differential impact of macroeconomic policy on youth.
The report specifically challenges the language of “recovery” as it relates to the social and economic well being of youth. Understanding that youth engagement and participation are issues of power, this report serves as an advocacy tool that offers conceptual discussion and practical recommendations to guide youth mainstreaming in Trinidad and Tobago.