Youth of the UK
The young are the future. But young people suffer higher rates in unemployment, injustice and violence than all other groups in their society. Especially deprived neighbourhoods of former industrial cities within the UK had huge problems with drug abuse, gang fights and teenage pregnancies at a disproportionately high level compared to the rest of Europe. Several government programms improved the situation within the last ten years and both offences committed by 16-17s and alcohol and drug taking of 16-24s dropped. But unemployment and the related lack of perspectives remain a big issue. Young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population – in Northern Ireland and Scotland even more. It has clearly emerged as one of the main reasons for sliding into delinquency.
In 2011 youth surveys analyzed that around 2-7% of young people aged between 10 and 19 years report being a gang member. This small group have a disproportionate impact on the communities around them. Compared with non-gang members, they are more likely to offend, commit a wider range of offences, carry weapons and sell drugs.
The decision of the UK population to support the Brexit option at the 2016 EU Referendum will have significant economic, social, political and cultural consequences – and none more so than for the futures of these young people.