Facts by topic

THE DEFINITION: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY YOUNG PEOPLE?

Around the world, the terms “youth”, “adolescent”, and “young person” are interchanged, often meaning the same thing. Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. The most common international definition, used by the United Nations and the World Bank, defines youth as between the ages of 15-24; however, at a national level, youth is defined in some countries from as early as 12 years, to as old as 40 years.

Restless Development does not use a fixed age range to define “youth.” We recognise that youth refers to a phase of life when a person moves from a time of dependence (childhood) to independence (adulthood). As a default, we use the term “youth” as individuals aged 15-24; however, we are flexible to the specific national contexts within which we work. We use the broader term “young people” to describe all children, youth and young adults up to the age of 30.

Youth-led development refers to our approach to development; driven and guided by young people and youth, drawing upon their energy, creativity and skills to create positive change. This is done on a small and large scale, and implicitly values young people and youth as an asset for society.