Youth

Youth

[yooth]
Youth, Isle of, Span. Isla de la Juventud, island (1989 est. pop. 71,500), 1,180 sq mi (3,056 sq km), off SW Cuba, from which it is separated by the Batabanó Gulf. Until 1978 it was called Isle of Pines. The island's capital is Nueva Gerona. Pine forests cover much of the island, and there are many mineral springs. Marble is quarried from low ridges in the northern part; the southern quarter of the island is an elevated plain. The economy is based on fishing and agriculture (primarily citrus fruits, some vegetables). Until the break in U.S.-Cuban relations in the early 1960s, much of the land was owned by American citizens, and the mild, healthful climate and excellent fishing waters made the island an attractive resort. Bibijagua beach remains popular. Sighted by Columbus in 1494, the Isle of Youth was later used as a penal colony and was a rendezvous for buccaneers. During the colonial period it was a summer resort and a rest area for the Spanish military. The island was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War (1898), and because its name was omitted from the Platt Amendment, which defined Cuba's boundaries, it was claimed by the United States as well as by Cuba. Finally, in 1907, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the island did not belong to the United States; a treaty was later signed (1925) confirming the island as Cuban. Near Nueva Gerona is a large prison, often used for political prisoners. During the regime of Fidel Castro, himself jailed there in 1953, the island has been extensively beautified, but political prisoners are incarcerated there in large numbers. The Isle of Youth has suffered frequent damage from hurricanes.

Supervised shelter providing inexpensive overnight lodging, particularly for young people. Often located in scenic or historic areas, hostels range from simple farmhouses to hotels able to house several hundred people. Guests often cook their own meals, make their own beds, and do other chores; in return they receive lodging at much less than the usual commercial rate. Hostels place limits on the length of stay and formerly set a maximum-age limit for guests. The hosteling movement was founded by Richard Schirrmann, a German schoolteacher concerned about the health of young people breathing polluted air in industrial cities. Common in Germany in the early 1900s, youth hostels spread through Europe and other parts of the world after World War I, and an international organization was formed in 1932; currently known as Hostelling International and based in London, its membership includes national federations in more than 60 countries, comprising some 4,000 hostels. Some hostels still impose age limits.

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Special court handling problems of delinquent, neglected, or abused children. Two types of cases are processed by a juvenile court: civil matters, often concerning care of an abandoned or impoverished child, and criminal matters, arising from antisocial behaviour by the child. Most statutes provide that all persons under a given age (often 18 years) must first be processed by the juvenile court, which can then, at its discretion, assign the case to an ordinary court. Before the creation of the first juvenile court, in Chicago in 1899, and the subsequent creation of other such courts in the United States and other countries (e.g., Canada in 1908; England in 1908; France in 1912; Russia in 1918; Poland in 1919; Japan in 1922; and Germany in 1923), juveniles were tried in the same courts as adults.

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Youth is the period from infancy or childhood to maturity.

Usage

Around the world the terms "youth", "adolescent", "teenager", and "young person" are interchanged, often meaning the same thing, occasionally differentiated. Youth generally refers to a time of life that is neither childhood nor adulthood, but rather, somewhere in-between. Youth also identifies a particular mindset of attitude, as in "He is very youthful". The term youth is also related to being young.

"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease." - Robert Kennedy

Youth is an alternative word to the scientifically-oriented adolescent and the common terms of teen and teenager. Another common title for youth is young person or young people.

Age limits

The age in which a person is considered a "youth," and thus eligible for special treatment under the law and throughout society varies around the world.

See also

References

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