The Caribbean Youth Summit 2023: A Pivotal Event for Youth Engagement and Empowerment

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CYS Panel Discussion

The Caribbean Youth Summit 2023 kicked off on Wednesday, 22 November, at the AC Hotel Marriott in Kingston, Jamaica, marking the beginning of a four-day event packed with crucial discussions and activities. Centered around the theme ‘Securing Our Future: Youth Co-Creating a Peaceful and Sustainable Caribbean Community,’ the Summit is a significant platform for youth engagement in the region.

The Summit’s activities were diverse and impactful, ranging from workshops to interactive sessions. One of the key areas of focus was Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH). Here, the integration of sexual education into the Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) systems was closely examined. The goal is to ensure that all young people, whether in school or not, have access to essential information about their sexual and reproductive health rights and choices.

A major part of the discussions revolves around ensuring universal access to reproductive health, particularly for marginalized communities. The Summit looked at ways to make reproductive health services more youth-friendly and exploring their role in preventing and addressing gender-based violence. The emphasis is on fostering gender equality and inclusivity in these services.

Furthermore, the Summit was not just about discussions; it also aims to delve into the supporting mechanisms required to bring these ideas to fruition. This includes scrutinizing existing legislation and policy frameworks, identifying gaps, and proposing necessary amendments or new policies to support the SRH needs of the youth effectively.

The Caribbean Youth Summit 2023 was more than an event; but a life-changing experience for many participants, providing a platform for young people to share their views, learn from each other, and contribute to shaping a better future for the Caribbean region. It was an important step towards empowering the youth, equipping them with knowledge, and engaging them in meaningful dialogue to create a peaceful and sustainable Caribbean community.

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