Young people

UNFPA’s works globally and in Sri Lanka is to empower young people and to ensure that every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The Sri Lanka Country Office embraces this as an opportunity to promote youth leadership and empowerment, bringing novelty in working with and for young people.

UNFPA’s works globally and in Sri Lanka is to empower young people and to ensure that every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The Sri Lanka Country Office embraces this as an opportunity to promote youth leadership and empowerment, bringing novelty in working with and for young people.

Social Change Entrepreneurs 

By working with and for young people, we are driving social change by promoting a new model of youth leadership and youth empowerment. Our Social Change Entrepreneurship model provided an enabling space and environment for young individuals to work with us as social change entrepreneurs on a project that would promote social change, helping them to improve the lives of women and young people:

  • 100 voices: a campaign designed to mobilise youth networks to educate peers on gender-based violence and sexual reproductive health and rights prevalent among young people in Sri Lanka
  • On the Way (#OTW): evidence-based advocacy through quantitative and qualitative research to bring a legal amendment to the Penal Code of Sri Lanka on gender-based sexual harassment in public transport.
  • Art For Advocacy

Working with Provincial Councils

We also strive towards a holistic youth programme, which looks at youth development through a national and provincial lens; in the areas of youth-led policy making, policy implementation, youth leadership and reproductive health education and associated rights. 

UNFPA is working with Provincial Councils to formulate implementation frameworks for the youth sensitive policies with the local governance structures through a Provincial youth mechanism. Youth-led forums established at provincial level will bring in a youth perspective on policy issues, to formulate more focused, relevant youth policies at sub national levels. As such UNFPA is currently working with the Southern Provincial Council to establish a youth policy mechanism within the existing formalized governance structure, where youth directly feed into the policy making process. Due to the success in the Southern Province, UNFPA plans to replicate this process in four other provinces.  

Southern Province  

UNFPA has been working with the Southern Provincial Council to increase meaningful youth participation in provincial policy making processes and strengthen the youth policy structures at provincial level. This is with a view to create an enabling environment and empower young people to take the leadership in deciding, designing and implementing youth sensitive policies and become a key stakeholder in local governance.  

Sabaragamuwa Province 

Sabaragamuwa was the 2nd province that UNFPA began working with, building on lessons learned from the pilot project conducted in the Southern Provincial Council. The objective was not to replicate the exact process which was carried out in the South, but to identify the inherent needs and gaps of policy mechanisms in place for the youth of Sabaragamuwa and then begin a process of advocating and supporting the Provincial Council to formulate youth centric policy mechanisms purely catering to their youth. 

Currently plans are underway to conduct a high level stakeholder consultation within the province bringing in individuals from the public sector, private sector, civil society as well as youth leaders. The outcome of the consultation would be to have a list of recommendations from the stakeholders to be used as a guide in the process of formulating a policy document for the youth of Sabaragamuwa.

At a National Level UNFPA plans to develop the leadership and policy making capacities of the established youth parliamentarians so that they are able to constructively feed into the policy making process. 

Main implementing partners

Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs 

Provincial Councils

National Youth Services Council