CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

From Poverty to Decent Work – Bridging the gap for the youth

Posted by civilsocietyindex on October 19, 2010

Each year, October 17 is a new occasion to highlight the issues behind poverty in the world. As the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’, it stressed once again this year the emergency of the situation, as almost half the world population – over three billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day (World Bank Development Indicators 2008).

Yesterday October 18, United Nations officials, member States and representatives of non-governmental organizations met at the UN headquarters to commemorate the theme for 2010, “From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap”.

At this occasion, the agenda was to explore practical measures to alleviate the disproportionate burden of unemployment on young people and inadequate opportunities for decent work. Indeed the International Labour Organisation (LTO) reported recently in its annual Global Employment Trends that the global unemployment rate increased by 0.9 per cent between 2007 and 2009, to reach 6.6 per cent. Over the same period, the unemployment rate of young people rose from 11.8 per cent to 13.4 per cent.

The probability for young people to be unemployed is three times higher than for adults, bringing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to raise awareness about their situation. “Last year, more than 81 million young people were unemployed, the highest on record. One of the best ways for youth to see a future of hope is through the prism of a decent job” he said on Sunday.

Symbols of hope for a better tomorrow, young people need a future where the role they play is recognized and encouraged rather than overlooked and dismissed. To guarantee their voices are heard, participation is of paramount importance, whether through their involvement in civil society organisations, elections or youth networks.

In order to better understand the challenges faced by youth, and identify how governments, civil society and young people themselves can tackle these challenges, it is crucial to bridge the information gap by developing platforms for dialogue, knowledge sharing, project development and capacity building within the youth but also between the youth and the rest of the society. As part of its action-oriented assessment of the state of civil society, the Civil Society Index analyzes the extent, depth and diversity of civic engagement. It notably enables to get a better understanding of the youth engagement, its scope and nature, and identify the areas of potential improvement.

YOUTH METRO is the youth institute of the People for Change Foundation

The People for Change Foundation – the CSI partner in Malta, has conceived a specific project dedicated to youth capacity building. Created in early 2007, YOUTH METRO intends to provide resources and empowerment tools for young people, young workers and academics focusing on this area. Covering 17 areas, it stands as a starting point for thought and cooperation, and as such offers a chance to make improvements towards the ultimate goal of poverty eradication, by empowering the youth and making their voices heard by decision-makers and the private sector.

Find out more about YOUTH METRO on their website.

Please follow the CSI in Malta here.

Read more about all the projects of the People for Change Foundation in Malta here.

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