Southern Africa

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The Southern Africa region is characterized by high population mobility, with an increasing number of regular and irregular migrants moving around the SADC region. Identity politics and exclusionary ideas of citizenship have continued to threaten peace and inclusive development; thus programs that help the region deal with its challenges of xenophobia and other forms of discrimination are one of UNESCO’s priority areas of intervention. The conspicuous size of the younger population (70% of the total population is under 30 years old) has created both opportunities and challenges for the region. Southern African women continue to be excluded from political and economic participation and are subjected to severe gender-based discrimination, multi-layered violence, insecurity, inequality, and poverty. Persons with disabilities are perhaps the most marginalized demographic due to rampant discrimination and invisibility within society and amongst decision-makers. Poverty and inequalities are on the rise along with the ‘urban poor’ population who reside in unsafe, substandard, and informal housings in the central-city and periphery.

 

The program of action in the area includes projects on: policy research and knowledge production on three emerging topics, namely politics of exclusion of migrants, youth inclusion, and rights of persons living with disabilities; strengthening capacities on research-policy linkages, particularly around sustainability science; interventions around the rights of persons living with disability; inclusive and participatory youth policies; and also the development of interventions around inclusive policies and programmes on migration.

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