Home >Our work >Youth
  • Promoting youth empowerment

    Young people have a proven capability to lead change, and are a vital and valuable investment for now and the future

  • Youth Ministers Meetings

    Four-yearly Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meetings, including a Youth Leaders Forum assist member countries with the development of policy and the sharing of good practices.

  • Youth Networks

    The Commonwealth Secretariat places special emphasis on supporting young people to design and drive youth-led initiatives

  • Youth Awards

    The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate young people from Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe

  • Sport for Development and Peace

    The Commonwealth Secretariat advocates for sport to be used as a vehicle for peace and development



The Commonwealth’s 52 member countries have a combined population of more than 2 billion, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age.

The Commonwealth Secretariat sees young people aged 15-29 years-old as assets to a country’s development who should be empowered to realise their potential.

Young people have a proven capability to lead change, and are a vital and valuable investment for now and the future.

Commonwealth Youth Programme

The Commonwealth Secretariat’s youth development work is delivered through the Commonwealth Youth Programme, which has been supporting member countries for over 40 years.

Engaging and recognising young people

  • We support the effective participation of young women and men in development processes and promote their engagement at all levels of decision-making, including with Heads of Government.
  • We showcase and celebrate the achievements of young people in driving democracy and development, to demonstrate their capabilities and inspire further action.

Supporting member governments

  • We provide technical assistance for national and regional youth policies and create youth development frameworks, guidelines and tools.
  • We advocate for increased investments in youth ministries and programmes. 

Professionalising youth work

  • We promote the professionalisation of youth work by supporting youth work education and training and setting competency standards.
  • We celebrate good practice and advocate for national and international youth worker associations.

'Ground-breaking’ youth index will help countries design smart policies - Secretary-General

A new worldwide youth development index, an initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat, will help countries make smart investments to improve opportunities for young people

Perspectives on the 2016 Youth Development Index: The Future of Young people in Africa

Africa is a continent of young people; our demography is quite different from the rest of the world. Within three generations, 41% of the world’s youth will be Africans. By 2030, Africa’s labour force will be larger than China’s; by 2035 it will be larger than India’s.

Perspectives on the 2016 Youth Development Index: An open letter to the World’s leaders

Paraschos Cant from Cyprus, was the Senior Winner of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2015. Aged 15, He wrote an open letter to world leaders expressing his hope for the future. Paraschos joins an esteemed list of winners that have gone on to become authors, journalists, academics and Prime Ministers.

Perspectives on the 2016 Youth Development Index: Role of youth in building resilient economies for small states

Ambassador Irwin Larocque, Secretary-General, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) provides a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) perspective for the 2016 Youth Development Index.

State of the world's youth population: new index underscores urgent need to invest in young

The Global Youth Development Index, an initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat, ranks 183 countries according to the prospects of young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres.

Youth climate advocacy toolkit launched for small island developing states

A new toolkit for youth advocates in small island developing states will help young people in the countries most affected by climate change.