‘Not only do you (civil society organizations) bring to life the concept of  we, the

Peoples, in whose name our Charter was written; you bring to us the promise

That people power can make the Charter work for all the world’s peoples in the

Twenty-first century”.—-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan 

as quoted in  the Millennium Summit – 2005


Young people are the parents, decision-makers, business people and leaders of tomorrow. Investment in today’s young men and women is actually an investment in the future of our nation. National development largely depends on the enthusiasm and energy of the youth community. They consist of one third of our total population .The youth community, imbued with endless creativity, innovation and zeal for production, is the most inspired productive force of a nation. As a precondition for development of a state and society the participation of the youth community is acclaimed and accepted by all.


Youth are the future hope of our nation .They are the most energetic and productive segment of the total population in Bangladesh. Therefore, the national development mostly depends on their working spirit and initiatives.  In fact, the government of the people’s republic of Bangladesh has been given the responsibility of transferring the disorganized and unproductive youth into an organized, disciplined and productive workforce. In Bangladesh Young people between the age ranges of 18 – 35 assume the status of youth. Nevertheless, In Bangladesh, 23.5 percent of the total population belongs to the age group between 15 and 24 years. They experience similar types of economic and social disparities as young people face globally. In 2001, the illiteracy rate among the 15+ age group was 59.4 percent while around 40 percent were unemployed and many were involved in hazardous, unacceptable forms of labor. it is important to mention that no data is available regarding the specific situation of youth population in the country as the state has been rather indifferent to the need for having youth  specific data in  the national information system.


Challenges of youth employment in 21st century

A significant number of non-government organization (NGO’s) has been working in Bangladesh over the last 30 years. These NGO’s are trying to address issues affecting the lives of the majority of the vast number of poor people. However, very few NGO’s have taken initiatives to address the issues related to young people in particular. Nor have the GoB / Civil society  report with due importance. (BBS 2003)


One of the challenges identified for youth development in the 21st century is to nurture our youths to be highly adaptable to all environments and the personal worlds where they operate in, be it in career, school, and relationships with peers, parents or colleagues. They are equipped with the appropriate mindset, personal mastery of necessary skills and operate by a youth creed which ties them to the community while they make their mark in the wider society. This socially-aware active youth citizen is our vision for youth development for the 21st century.


Challenges identified by the people (emphasis on youth) these were as follows:-



        Challenges of youth employment in 21st century


Employment creation for self employment programme (Several recommendations for further improving the situation were made) these were:

        Challenges of youth employment in 21st century


Concluding remarks: 

One final comment relates to taking up the initiatives on one’s own hands. Unless we in Bangladesh are able to do so, know our potentials and engage ourselves in realizing them fully within the limitations that we may have for the time being, but not hopefully for all the time to come, we shall fail to be a youth leader in the community of nations .That was the dream before us when we fought for our poverty and hunger.