‘Youth’ are frequently referred to under the mantra of inclusivity in any aid-funded project, development initiative or government–donor initiative in the Pacific region. Indeed, ‘youth’ ranks alongside ‘women/gender’ as a catch term for communicating diversity compliance. But how are ‘youth’ framed and who speaks for this group of people who are not yet adults or are only just adults in law, and yet are beyond the voiceless or barely articulate stage of childhood? This question may be particularly pertinent in cultures such as those found in the Pacific, where the right to speak out is traditionally not afforded to those on the edge of adulthood, and where ‘youth’ for the purposes of inclusive dialogue frequently means people over the age of 20. Although they may seem isolated, the Pacific islands are linked to global, regional and national movements to give young people more voice, to recognise the valuable contributions they can make and to ensure that they are participants in determining their own futures.