Today half of the 1.4 billion people living in countries affected by crises and fragility are under the age of 20. Many of these young people are among the first to step up to help their communities rebuild. However, too often, their unique needs are not specifically addressed in humanitarian responses, and their energy, leadership, knowledge and creativity is not tapped into to maximize the efforts’ impact. Young women are particularly at risk. In fact, during humanitarian crises, being young and female is one of the greatest risk factors for violence and death.
The Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action is an unprecedented and collective commitment of key actors to ensure that the priorities, needs and rights of young women and young men, girls and boys affected by disaster, conflict, forced displacement and other humanitarian crises, are addressed, and that they are informed, consulted, and meaningfully engaged throughout all stages of humanitarian action. The signatories to the compact commit to not only specifically fund, research and address youth’s needs in crisis settings, but also, to ensure they are part of designing and leading those responses.
More than 40 humanitarian partners including governments, UN System entities, private sector organizations, INGOs, and major youth organizations and networks have endorsed this innovative compact.
The compact has five key actions for accountability to young people in humanitarian action. These include:
Make humanitarian programmes contribute to the protection, health and development of young women, young men, girls and boys.
Support systematic engagement and partnership with youth in all phases of humanitarian action, especially decision-making and budget allocations.
Strengthen young people’s capacities to be effective humanitarian actors, and supporting local youth-led initiatives and organizations in humanitarian response. This includes young refugees and internally displaced persons living in informal urban settlements and slums.
Increase resources to address the needs and priorities of adolescents and youth affected by humanitarian crises and use the new gender and age marker for better tracking and reporting.
Generate and systematically use age- and sex- disaggregated data.
The members of the Compact agree to collectively review at regular intervals and be accountable for the progress of the implementation of this compact.