Did you know...
The five most populous Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar – together have over 90 million youth or close to an average of 17 percent of each country’s population.
In most of these countries, young people still live in rural areas, but the trend in all is the growth of migration to urban areas.
Our members under the Youth and Land Initiative share with us why access to land for rural youths needs to be secured in order to alleviate poverty and unemployment. By giving meaningful participation to rural youths in decision-making roles, change can happen at the local and national levels.
What we do
Lack of employment, lack of access to land, and low income are the main reasons cited by rural youth for migrating. Inheritance traditions/laws imply that young people must wait for many years before having control of the land. This has affected women much more. Moreover, in rural Asia farm sizes have become highly fragmented, rendering further subdivision among living heirs highly impractical.
Going further to empower youth, capacity building by building solidarity between rural and urban youth will be strengthened. As one of youth’s uniqueness, their higher mobility compared to other age groups needs to be channeled and used through rural-urban youth connections. This connection is a result of stronger solidarity where they can also gain knowledge, skills, networks, and confidence, among others.
The rural-urban platform will start with both groups knowing more about the problems and challenges faced in both settings. It is a learning space for urban youth to build their critical awareness of social problems in rural areas. It's critical to ensure the inclusion of rural youth in land governance towards sustainable rural development in Asia region. The empowerment of rural youth will hopefully help alleviate poverty, promote decent rural livelihoods, and enhance food sovereignty. Empowered youth means that their knowledge and skills are enhanced, while at the same time, they grow into a critical, proactive, and empathetic individual.