Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) arranged a “Consultative Workshop on Youth Policy” on March 26, 2010. The objective of the workshop was to identify unfavorable or defective areas in the existing policies regarding youth, and recommend policy options within the framework of existing policies. Participants of the workshop stressed the need to include youth in every sphere of society through policy intervention.
Speaking on the occasion Naseer Memon, Chief Executive SPO, said that SPO was engaged with youth of Pakistan. That was why SPO arranged the consultative workshop by engaging policy experts and carrying out consultation with civil society organizations and youth groups. ‘Fundamental policy for youth is already there, but changed circumstances demand changes in youth policy in the light of issues and gaps identified by the stakeholders, particularly youth’ Memon stated. He laid great emphasis on the need to carry out debate regarding youth policy at provincial level to broaden the ambit of feedback from all stratum and regions of the country.
Mazhar Arif, a media watch expert, appreciated the policy for addressing the economic dimension. He, however, emphasized not to focus solely on economic aspect because it would only create a working class for the consumption of jobs in the market. ‘The policy follows a narrow agenda if it focuses on production of only job seekers for the market. Instead the policy should broaden its perspective by providing vistas and opportunities to youth to actualize their potential through socialisation and increased participation’ Mazhar said. Arif urged youth of get involve in every sphere of society. He was of the opinion that our society had closed the doors of opportunities for the youth and forced the youth to become hostile. ‘This situation can be averted by providing multiple way outs to the youth’ Mazhar Arif stated.
Zafar Zeeshan, Head of Programme SPO, stated that the society needed youth rather than youth needed society. He termed the policy of isolation of youth from the mainstream activities as unfair. ‘Youth should be given centre stage in the affairs of country. Current turmoil in the country has changed many things and we need to address the questions generated by the changed situation’ Zafar said. Zafar Zeeshan highlighted the need of taking contemporary challenges and issues of youth into consideration while chalking out youth policy review.
The consultative workshop was attended by youth stakeholders from across the country. They lauded the efforts of SPO in mainstreaming youth with the affairs of country through policy dialogue and intervention. In the end the participants prepared and presented detailed recommendations for change in the youth policy. These recommendations would be shared with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Pakistan.