Youth in danger
There are currently 1.2 billion Youth aged 15 to 24, 550 million of whom are living below the poverty threshold of US$1.90 per day, malnourished, victims of violence and abuse …
In 2025 their numbers will reach 1 billion.
Youth is the transition stage between childhood and adulthood, and it is a stage which can make all the difference in successfully escaping poverty.
“Sometimes the lack of substantive freedoms relates directly to economic poverty.” Amartya Sen, economist.
Youth rarely get a mention in national poverty reduction strategies, and investment in Youth is seldom seen as essential for the promotion of sustainable development.
Italicised texts come from the International Labour Organization report “Global Employment Trends for Youth”, Geneva, October 2006
Regardless of their economic activity status (employed, unemployed or inactive), young people who are not able to make the most of their productive potential are susceptible to feelings of despondency, to marginalization and impoverishment, to idleness and potential attraction to illicit activities, to feeling frustrated with their situation and to directing their anger and frustration at the society that fostered the stagnant conditions.
People living in extreme poverty generally lack social safety nets and must therefore try to survive by any means possible – through ingenuity, courage, self-discipline and most of all through work. No opportunity to earn some money or payment in kind for oneself or one’s family can be missed.
89% of the world’s Youth population live in developing economies
56% of employed Youth remain poor, according to the criteria of US$1.90 per day
By 2025 42% of the world’s population will be below the age of 25
Today’s youth are faced with a growing deficit of decent work opportunities and high levels of economic and social uncertainty.
Youth as agents for change in favor of a decent world
Young women and men are among the world’s greatest assets. They bring energy, talent and creativity to economies and create the foundations for future development.
“Creating jobs for youth is not enough. Across the planet, youth are not only finding it difficult if not impossible to find jobs, but are finding it even more difficult to find decent jobs.
What young people need today is not only a job, but a job that enables them to make contributions as workers, citizens and agents of change.
This is the challenge we face”.
Juan Somavia - Oct 2006, ILO Director General.