Youth-led Peace: Inclusion of Youth in Peace Processes

Despite being deeply affected by violence and armed conflict, young people are often deprived of meaningful participation in peace-making. They are seen as either perpetrators or victims of violence, and their role as agents of peace-making has been largely neglected. A landmark development in this respect has been the adoption of Resolution 2250 by the Security Council in 2015, which dictates participation as one of the five pillars of the UN’s Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda. To date, in contrast with the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda, the YPS agenda has attracted scant academic attention. It is within this context that both the Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth and Beyond Borders Scotland (a leading conflict resolution organisation)  approached the researchers to undertake a collaborative project, emphasising their need for academic guidance on youth participation in peace processes.

Against this background, the objective of our project was to enable non-academic partners to use our research in relation to:

(i) the capacity building of young peacemakers to overcome legal, policy and socio-cultural barriers to inclusion and to initiate, engage in, and influence grassroots and official peace processes; and

(ii) the development of legal and policy frameworks and practices of domestic and international actors (such as our project partners) that facilitate peace processes, with a view to ensuring meaningful inclusion of youth organisations.

To achieve this objective, we held a knowledge exchange workshop that will be complemented by online consultations with youth peace-making organisations from across the world. These activities are essential to our project objective, as they will allow us to:

  1. Bring together youth organisations, officials and policymakers, and conflict resolution practitioners to exchange knowledge in a focused, dedicated and structured setting; and
  2. Disseminate our research findings on:
  • approaching international law strategically to promote youth inclusion in peace-making;
  • tackling the legal, policy, societal, cultural, and practical barriers to youth inclusion in peace-making; and
  • strategies that have proven effective and successful in engaging young people, including those that are most marginalised and unreachable.

The workshop was a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for co-developing with non-academic partners a training scheme for young peacemakers.

PIs and Co-Is

PI - Dr Asli Ozcelik Olcay, School of Law, University of Glasgow

Co-I - Dr Yulia Nesterova, School of Education, University of Glasgow

Co-I - Dr Graeme Young, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow

Start and End Date

20 May 2020 to 20 February 2021

Funder and funding amount

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account