Caribbean Youth Summit 2023 to Address Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health

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Caribbean Youth Summit 2023 to Address Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health 3

The inaugural Caribbean Youth Summit (CYS) is scheduled to take place in Jamaica from November 22 to 25, 2023. This significant event aims to empower Caribbean youth with skills to address community violence, gender-based violence (GBV), sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and mental health challenges. The summit aligns with the “Year of Youth,” declared by the Commonwealth to recognize the pivotal role of young people.

Themed “Securing Our Future: Youth Co-Creating a Peaceful and Sustainable Caribbean Community against GBV,” the CYS will provide a platform for young leaders to develop strategies for preventing GBV and strengthening socio-emotional capacities to tackle related challenges. The summit is set to foster a collaborative environment where youth can share experiences, ideas, and best practices on peace, security, safety, and sustainable development in the Caribbean.

Key aspects of the summit include developing policy recommendations for addressing GBV, safety, security, and mental health issues, particularly affecting young women, men, and girls in the region. Michele Small-Bartley, Deputy Programme Manager of Youth Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, emphasized the importance of aligning the region’s youth development efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal #5 on gender equality.

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Caribbean Youth Summit 2023 to Address Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health 4

Small-Bartley also noted the summit’s aim to create synergy with existing regional initiatives such as the CARICOM Youth Development Goals and the UNFPA Youth Strategy. A significant outcome of the CYS will be the creation of an integrated roadmap outlining strategies to address regional and national issues associated with peace, security, and safety for youth.

The CYS is poised to contribute significantly to the ongoing efforts to build a secure, healthy, and violence-free future for Caribbean youth, particularly in light of the increased psychological and emotional health challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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