Improving Employment Opportunities for Formerly Displaced Youth in Northern Uganda
IDS Policy Briefing 140
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The national youth (persons between 18 and 30 years of age) unemployment rate in Uganda currently stands at 19.7 per cent, and a significant proportion are returned, formerly displaced youth, displaced as a result of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) civil war in the northern part of the country.
Despite resettlement, youth in these communities continue to be marginalised by post-conflict reconstruction programming. In the absence of effective government initiatives, displaced youth have come up with self-identified income-generating activities outside socially accepted norms, including prostitution, gambling, sports betting and contemporary dancing. Improving youth employment opportunities will require the Ugandan government to involve young people more closely in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation; broaden the current definition of employment and localise national policies to address the needs of displaced communities in northern Uganda.