Young people are valuable assets of our society. They provide our future leaders and workforce. At a transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, care and encouragement should be given to young people to enable them to develop into mature, responsible and contributing citizens.
Recognising the importance of young people and their needs, the community has invested heavily on them. The Government, the family, schools, voluntary agencies, youth organizations, and numerous individuals in society including young people are actively engaged in and promoting policies and programmes relating to youth development.
The Charter for youth enunciates the principles and ideals on youth development and reaffirms the value of and provides a focus for the above policies and programmes. The first section of the Charter stipulates the principles and ideals on youth development; the second section sets out the major rights of youth in the light of these principles and ideals; and the third section states the long term social goals for youth development.
The Charter operates on a system of subscription with organizations and individuals interested in promoting the development of youth becoming subscribers on a voluntary basis. The act of subscribing indicates the organisation's desire to uphold the ideals set out in the Charter; it is also a promise made by the organization to plan and conduct its activities where appropriate, in accordance with the spirit of the Charter. Subscribing organizations would work within their respective constitutions, policies, priorities and available resources to implement as best as they can the principles contained in the Charter. Individual subscribers should also endeavour to realize those principles.
Periodic reviews would be held to provide an opportunity for subscribers to share their experience in fulfilling the provisions contained in the Charter. At the reviews, subscribing organizations would present reports on the measures they have adopted to realize the provisions in the Charter. Subscribing individuals can also give their views in writing to participants at the review.
For the purpose of the Charter, youth means people between the ages of fifteen and twenty four although, where appropriate, the age range may be adjusted up to five years in either direction to cater for practical needs. The flexibility is necessary because in most instances the provisions contained in the Charter apply across the board to all young people within the wide definition whilst in other cases, they may only be relevant to a specific age sub-group within that definition.