Why the Concerns of Caribbean Youth Matter

Why the Concerns of Caribbean Youth Matter

by David Jessop

In much of the world, young people feel economically marginalized, politically alienated and in a struggle against insecurity and inequity.

In the Caribbean, it is little different. Lack of opportunity, the absence of generational change, high levels of unemployment, discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, and the slow pace of change, are abiding aspects of the lives of many in the younger generation.

However, unlike their counterparts in other regions of the world, where frustration with the political class and anger with the old order have led to new political movements and protest, no similar region-wide or sustained manifestation of dissent have occurred. Instead, in recent years, protests have been limited and disconnected.

Part of the answer as to why this should be, seems to lie in the Caribbean’s smallness and fragmentation. While life in micro-states offers proximity to political and economic opportunity, size also imposes limits on dreams and aspiration. When set alongside the seemingly boundless prospects for material gain in North America and U.S. cultural penetration, the same smallness is almost guaranteed to heighten frustration with the slow pace of national development.

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SOURCE: The Virgin Islands Daily News