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Celebrating young people doing great things

PICTURED: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland QC during the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception at Marlborough House in London

AT A time where youth violence is on the rise, Secretary General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC has reiterated the important role the Commonwealth can play in the development of young people.

Speaking to The Voice, Ms Scotland spoke on the continued importance of the Commonwealth Youth Forum’s role in challenging the negative stereotypes of young people, which often dominates. She says: “The Commonwealth Youth Programme has been going for 45 years. During that 45 years, the young people of yesterday have become the old guard today, and most of the people who are now in positions have had touched and tasted and seen something of the Commonwealth.

“The opportunity to inspire, to inform, to encourage, to enable and to help young people understand that they have talents is still there. Every generation has always said that young people are terrible -they’re not terrible, they’re brilliant, and this new generation particularly has great opportunities with the new connectivity there is.”

So far in 2018, there have been 1,296 stabbings in London up to the end of April, according to official statistics from the Met Police and by June, stabbings were reported on a nearly daily basis.

While the concerning increase in violence highlights a dire need for resolution among young people, it’s important to not paint all youth with the same brush, as many continue to inspire and challenge the stereotypes they are often faced.

Ms. Scotland discussed the Commonwealth’s support of young people, adding: “We think young people are fantastic and we are giving them every opportunity to change the minds of all of those who don’t really understand that young people are their tomorrows – and for most of us, they’re our todays. So we believe in the Commonwealth that young people are worth investing in - they’re bright, inspirational and we think they’re leaders.”

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