Snags hobble activists’ youth policy formulation
YOUNG people in Yangon Region helping to draft a proposed youth policy say greater coordination is needed as efforts to formulate the plan continue.
The leading member of a regional committee on youth policy formation, Ma Thidar Hlaing, said surveying by activists throughout the country, which began on June 20, was not likely to be completed by the target date, September 30.
At a press conference on September 5, she said lacklustre participation from youths and delayed funding were to blame.
“Funding difficulties, time, and participation and ability [of youths] are the main points, because youth are not getting a salary for it [participating] here; they have their other jobs,” she said.
Though the government had indicated that the drafting of a youth policy would be among its so-called 100-day initiatives, earmarked as a priority for its early months in office, Ma Thidar Hlaing said activists would like more time to gather information and ideas from young people in Myanmar’s states and regions.
She cited a recent youth forum in Monywa township, Sagaing Region, at which participants said they were “60 percent” of the way to where they wanted to be on policy input.
“It is not perfect – it is just starting,” Ma Thidar Hlaing said.
Funding has been a particular problem in some parts of the country, such as Ayeyarwady Region, where no money has yet been spent or received on the effort, and rugged Chin State, where transportation costs can run to double what is typical of other areas, Yangon Region youth committee member Ko Htet Arkar Latt said this week.
There are plans to hold youth policy forums in four Yangon Region townships this month – Mayangone, Tarmwe, Thingangyun and Kamaryut – with the Mayangone meet-up scheduled for today.
Recent youth policy awareness campaigning on university campuses in Yangon has sometimes run into difficulties as authorities have denied permission for the activities, and youth activists met yesterday with Yangon Region’s social affairs minister, U Naing Ngan Linn, in an attempt to resolve the issue. The minister pledged to assist the campaigners to the best of his ability, Ko Htet Arkar Latt said.
The Yangon Region youth policy committee is encouraging all young people to participate in its consultation process, including marginalised groups such as the LGBTQ community, sex workers and those with disabilities, member Shin Thant said.
Committee leader Ma Thidar Hlaing stressed that any youth policy should not be the product of a rush job.
“We can hold the campaigning and workshops during the limited time if we wish, but we don’t want slipshod [outcomes],” she said.