Youth Unemployment: The key to future political and economic sustainability in a post-conflict country? A case study in Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka
Jaffna District, Sri Lanka, has recently emerged from three decades of violence and isolation, leading to a diverse array of political, social and economic issues. This research project critically analyses the link between youth employment and the economic and political sustainability of this post-conflict region of Sri Lanka. Discontent and disillusionment among youth is regarded as a potential threat to the stability of the country during the post-conflict period, and only through active employment and engagement of Sri Lanka’s youth population can the threat of a resurgence in violence be fully eliminated. The goal of this research is to discover to what extent the phenomenon of youth unemployment has become an issue within post-conflict Jaffna District, and how the governmental, non-government, and community actors, are working together to solve this problem. Jaffna District was selected as the research location due to the region’s prominence in the Sri Lankan civil war as a stronghold of the separatist LTTE forces, and due to the large influx of refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs) following the war’s conclusion. These, and other factors, have resulted in Jaffna District’s labour market nearing capacity, leading to an inevitable increase in youth unemployment and disaffection. Through both a qualitative and quantitative research process, which included field research in Sri Lanka, this project attempts to increase the awareness and focus on youth employment issues in Jaffna District, and demonstrates the crucial importance of an engaged youth population in post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Advisor: Binns, J A (Tony)
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Sri Lanka; post-conflict; development; youth employment; Jaffna
Research Type: Thesis