National Youth Policy

No country’s youth is free from the global problems of rising unemployment, underemployment, drugs, crime and violence. For the young men and women in Dominica, unemployment remains the biggest challenge. This is in no way isolated from the other related factors such as education, level of literacy, entrepreneurial training, opportunities for enterprise development and migratory urges and attractions. No much has been done to address directly this and other related challenges mainly because youth as a concept in Dominica is still a relatively new and emerging social construct. During slavery the concept of youth did not exist. The youth was an adult and the adult was a youth until death or incapacity due to arduous physical labour (Danns, et al. 1997:13). As a result very little youth services existed.

In the 1930s provision for compulsory education was established because illiteracy was seen as a major issue to be tackled. Church assisted groups provided other services to youth through philanthropy. Guiding and scouting developed as mediums to provide these services. Systematic initiatives to address youth problems came in 1945 with the establishment of a Social Welfare Department within the public sector. This was part of the broader response to the social situation in Caribbean Society as contained in the Moyne Commission which was set up to inquire into the social and economic conditions of the region during the latter part of the 1930s.

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