U.N. Youth Representative Ms. Sathya Baashi discussed the difficulties the transgender community faces in Sri Lanka. She went on to explain how people in Sri Lanka are not open to transgender communities and due to that, individuals go through a lot of hardship in terms of legal and medical procedures, and getting accepted in society.
She also stated that we need more forums like the World Conference on Youth (WCY) to discuss these issues and to make people aware of transgender communities.
Dr. Shantha Abeysinghe, Senior Lecturer at the Open University, discussed young people at risk and the risk factors.
He also briefly explained the history of under-supervised youth and the factors that lead to youth being inrisky situations, as well as why it is important to engage young people in choices and decision-making. He stated that, behind the phenomenon of invisible youth disengagement are considerable costs to individuals, their families and society at large.
“Youth at risk will differ from region to region, country to country,” Dr. Abeysinghe said. “Hence, the policy makers need to have a very broad mindset to understand them, to listen to them, to hear them (and) to share their pulse before making a vital decision.”
The speakers took a few questions from the audience before they started on the breakout sessions to discuss outcomes for the final draft.