Youth Violence. We have been looking at some of the highlights of the recently published World Bank report “Crime, Violence and Development: Trends, Costs and Policy Options in the
I want to conclude by looking at some of the most important recommendations relating to youth. We can install all the electronic burglar alarms we want. We can ensure our bedrooms have double locking doors and burglar bars on all windows. We can keep a firearm tucked under the pillow. It will not be sufficient to protect us all. The fact is that we have to do something about tackling youth violence. I am not so concerned about the present generation of young men. Some consider them lost. Some say that we should leave them to shoot each other into extinction. The present problem should take care of itself by a process of attrition. There is little we can do for the bad boys of today. You probably turn your head aside as you drive past the crowds of young men in
It is different with the next generation. We can do something for them. It will not be so expensive. The report indicates solutions. We have to invest in programmes that have been shown to be successful elsewhere. We need more professional early childhood development and mentoring programmes. We must have no more high-school graduates acting as untrained infant and primary school teachers. We need improved interventions to keep high risk young men in secondary schools. We need to open our schools after hours and on week-ends to offer additional activities and training. We can afford that. We have to, if we are to continue to prosper and to thrive as a society.