Regional Report: National Events on Youth Employment in the Arab States

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The Regional report is the main input to the global report that summarizes the national events that have taken place in the regions. It highlights the region’s youth employment challenges affecting both quantity and quality of jobs for young people and channels the voices of young people concerning the current youth employment crisis and their aspirations in the pursuit of decent work. The self-immolation of twenty-six-year-old Mohammad Bouazizi in the Tunisian countryside unleashed a wave of popular uprisings across the Arab world in 2011. This lone and desperate act of protest at the hardships Bouazizi faced in his own life resonated with millions of Arabs longing for dignity, freedom and social justice. In many ways the trials of this young man echo those of an entire generation of young Arabs who have courageously taken action against the lack of social and economic rights, and against dismal job prospects. Hierarchical power structures and patron-client relationships that have perpetuated inequalities since many of the countries’ independence, have also contributed to marginalize youths in Arab societies. This marginalization is also reflected in the labour market: the Middle East and North Africa have very high levels of youth to adult unemployment ratios

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