In a country where young people constitute a high percentage of the population, their success or failure will have a clear impact on society en masse. The number of Iraq’s children and youth increasing at an unprecedented rate. In
2010, Iraq had 5.1 million children and 6 million young people. These numbers are expected to run as high as 6.7 million and 9.6 million respectively in 2025, and 8.9 million and 14.9 million respectively in 2050.
This report is important given the data of the demographic window – that period of time in a nation’s demographic transition when the proportion of the working age population is particularly prominent for a decade or more – which has become of interest to states. It is an opportunity to realize development in Iraq, though this is conditioned on the positive response of the country’s socio-economic policies. Advancement is not guaranteed, as the
demographic window can be transformed into an element of social relapse, short-lived economic growth, increased unemployment, and a disintegrated labor market, which can trigger a raft of problems if proper development policies and strategies are not in place.
National awareness of youth issues is on the rise at various policy- and decision- making levels. There is also general awareness of the important role of this social group. Despite the growing interest in youth issues after 2003, however, the projects designed to empower and integrate the youth and engage them in development priorities, plans, and strategies have been impeded by violence and instability.
Through factual analysis and the integration of the vision and priorities of Iraqi youth, this report develops an integrated structure that combines youth issues with various dimensions of the development process. This will help to develop policies that address the role of the youth in the current and future human development process. And what makes the recommendations of this report even more important is that many of them reflect a reality that our youth teams and field work groups have explored through interviewing young Iraqis of different genders, ethnicities, education levels, and social and geographical backgrounds.
If we see human development analysis as including attention to basic needs and to threats, disruptions and fluctuations, as it should and typically does, then human security analysis is a wing or dimension within it. If though human development analysis looks only at creation and expansion of valuable capabilities, then human security analysis adds special attention to the counterpart concerns: vulnerabilities, risks and forces of disruption and destruction. The two types of analysis can then be described as partners: “…work on human security recognizes that situations are not stable, and that we must plan not only for how to fulfill aspirations but how to deal with threats and adversities, many of which are situation-specific, group-specific, intersectional” and require locally determined response (Frediani et al. 2014, p. 7).12 Human development is measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). This index actually measures the average achievements in a country in three basic
dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.13 The strong connection between human development and human security brings us to consider if conceptualizing the human security index would be possible.
Fundamental precondition for sustainable development is empowerment of people, referring to their education. By educating them, the key barrier to human development – human mind – can be surpassed. Means for achieving sustainable human development are rule of law, respect for human rights, economic development, social development, environmental development and creation of adequate norms and regimes. Many peace-building practices around the world reflect how development is connected to safety of people. Safe environment is a precondition for implementation of any kind of developmental projects, which further influence the wellbeing of population. A population with more satisfied basic needs is less likely to turn to violence in solving its problems.