The Youth Employment Crisis Highlights of the 2012 ILC report

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Across the world, young people face real and increasing difficulty in finding decent work with each passing day. Youth unemployment has become a threat to the social, economic and political stability of nations. Over the course of the past year, those between the ages of 18 and 35 have probably either joined a protest or watched one unfold. The youth-led movement calling for “social justice, freedom and jobs” was ignited by a street vendor in Tunisia, picked up by young Egyptians in Tahrir Square, and spread to Europe, passing through Madrid and Greece, reaching Wall Street and becoming the “Occupy” movement. At the heart of these protests was the need for political freedom and a more secure economic future. The frustrations of young people and their anxiety about their future life prospects featured a common question, which was evident in their protests: What am I going to do? What is my future? This report provides an introduction to some of the resolution’s policies and mechanisms that can allow youth “multiple pathways to decent work”. However, young people’s participation and representation is key to their success. Therefore, as you read, think of how each policy can be applied to your country, region or firm. Imagine what other means could help resolve the crisis and ensure decent work for all. At the end of this report there is a section dedicated to readers’ insights, ideas and feedback. The report comprises four chapters, each of which deals with an aspect of the youth employment crisis. Chapter 1 will highlight trends and characteristics of the crisis; Chapter 2 assesses national commitments made all over the world to youth employment and review progress made in each of the resolution’s policy areas; Chapter 3 discusses the ILO’s support and some of the global partnerships forged for youth; and Chapter 4 concludes the report with a set of key issues and lessons learned.

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