By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Belize Youth Movement, the youth arm of the People’s United Party, symbolically called for the implementation of the National Youth Development Policy by hanging a banner on the overpass at the start of the Phillip Goldson highway.
The BYM, said that the banner, which read “How many more must R.I.P; 78 and counting”, was to establish the link between the violent crimes both perpetrated and affecting Belize’s youth, and GOB’s neglect in materializing the policy.
BYM President, Alberto Vellos, said on Thursday, that his organization believes that GOB’s approach to mitigating the occurrence of violent crime in belize needs to be youth centered.
“Responding by sending more police is one of the solutions, but it is not the most effective,” Vellos said, “something needs to be done about the high level of joblessness, especially with the thousands of graduates that just came out of school.”
He added that that the national policy called for greater youth participation in national decisions that directly affect youth, but contends that the BYM has seen no concrete effort in establish an avenue for that participation to take place.
The NYDP, launched in 2013 listed in its strategies the “institutionalization of young people’s participation in civic affairs, in the form of youth committees, youth groups, youth councils and student councils.”
The Department of Youth Services announced in May that it is aspiring to have the national Youth council set up by the end of 2015.