Youth recognition

by Yousif Farah

Youth is a critical period, it is where a generation is made or failed; it is the bridge linking childhood to adulthood and without the right support and guidance the transition can be wobbly and precarious. Ultimately, societies as a whole reap the benefits or bear the burden.

Therefore, it was only sensible of the United Nation to dedicate a day to raise awareness of youth, their achievements and their struggles also highlighting the vital role youth play in shaping our future while enriching the present through skill, talent or through simply being young and progressive.

This week, on 12 August, people from around the globe celebrated the 15th anniversary since the establishment of International Youth Day.

The day covered 15 areas which affect youth, including education, employment, environment, poverty and health.

Last year the day focused on youth and mental illness, as it stands 20% of youth around the world experience a mental health condition.

This year the focal point of discussion will be youth and unemployment. Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of the UN says in his Youth Day 2015 speech:

"I applaud the millions of young people who are protesting for rights and participation, addressing staggering levels of youth unemployment, raising their voices against injustice, and advocating global action for people and the planet.

Volunteerism is an ideal way to improve society – and it is open to virtually everyone. Youth can also join forces with the United Nations as we move from forging the new sustainable development goals to implementing them. That spirit of action is embodied in the theme of this International Day: Youth and Civic Engagement."

In the UK according to the House of Commons as of May 2015, 15.9 per cent of young people (aged 16-24) were unemployed, that is down 1.9% from the year before. 21 per cent of these young people are long-term unemployed for 12 months or over.

The research reveals a gradual increase in the number of young people securing employment post the economic turmoil. However, if contrasted to periods prior to the economic crisis the figures remain lower.

In this calculation the Commons relied on the definition set out by the International Labour Organisation which includes everyone actively seeking work whether on benefit or not.
According to the organisation, the world as a whole is facing a worsening youth employment crisis, with young people three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. It also warned of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and uncertain work conditions in developing countries.

The ILO estimates the number of youth looking for work worldwide at 73 million.

The International Labour Organisation is based in Geneva and was founded in 1919 in the wake of the Labour crisis which was triggered by World War 1. It later became the first specialized agency in the UN, currently operational in 60 countries around the world.

At Poached Creative we have always been sympathetic towards young people and supportive of their causes, as well as encouraging young people to join our Big Issue Online Journalism Course, we’ve run numerous projects with young people, for instance our latest collaboration with our partners Mediorite to help Camden Council’s youth project board plan, film and produce a documentary. To read about more about our work with youth and youth campaigners visit our campaigns page

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