The world is currently experiencing a crisis of youth unemployment. Globally, 75 million economically active young people are unemployed.[i] That’s more than the entire population of the United Kingdom.
90 per cent of these young people live in developing countries. The poorest are the least likely to find equitable work opportunities. Among the young men and women in these countries who do find employment, many are not paid enough to keep them out of poverty. Many others are forced to work in dangerous conditions. Economic and social injustice traps young people in the cycle of poverty.
Where there is hope…
Despite the odds, individual youths find opportunities for real entrepreneurship every day. They start businesses. They open bank accounts. They save for their education and the education of their brothers and sisters. They help lift their families out of poverty. They contribute to innovation, and business and sector growth. Their contribution helps ensure economic development, social cohesion, peace and security.
But young people cannot do it all by themselves. They need institutions that will support their growth and help challenge the barriers that prevent their full economic and social engagement. They need banks that will supply credit and governments that will enforce fair labour laws. They need organizations that will help them learn new skills and civil society groups who will champion their cause.
YEJ works with local and international organizations to strengthen the institutions that support young people and ensure that issues of youth economic justice feature on the development agenda.
[i] International Labour Organization’s Global Employment Trends 2012