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Queens University Youth Research

20th May 2014

As part of a young adult learner programme, participants from across the interface surveyed 34 local young people to find out their attitudes to so-called peace walls and their experience of living near an interface. The findings of the ‘Young People's Views of Living Near an Interface’ research was published in a booklet and distributed to 2250 homes in the area.

As has been noted by the community relations council, young people living at interfaces often face a ‘double penalty.’ Not only do they face the problems associated with poverty, but also experience the effects of sectarianism. What is clear is that both sets of issues don’t exist in isolation but augment one another. The research carried out by our young volunteers appears to support this thesis, with many young people identifying issues such as boredom and lack of facilities as reasons for interface violence. On other issues, most young people agree with the principle that peace walls should come down but fear the consequences if they do. This is unsurprising, given that personal safety is a major concern for young people living near interfaces. The survey also highlights the increasing, and disturbing development of social media as a medium utilised by young people to incite and organise interface violence.