ITUC Youth Committee statement
On the United Nation’s International Youth Day, the ITUC Youth Committee is observing the day with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies” and the significant role youth can play in the development of global responses to current global challenges.
Our world has its largest ever generation of adolescents and youth standing at 1.8 billion. These young people while struggling to realise their hopes and dreams, they also have to live with a growing reality of violence, terrorism, persecution, armed conflict and human rights violations. Over half of the refugee population globally is under the age of 18 while thousands of young people are forced from their homes due to poverty or climate events. A whole generation is growing up with no or inadequate access to basic services, education, economic opportunities and healthcare.
Yet, global discourse over the past decade, including on recent violent extremism in different parts of the world, has unfortunately tended to see youth as a demographic easily driven into violence and extremist ideologies. This conception has predominantly led to a popular depiction of young people as a threat to global security and stability.
Violence and extremism knows no demographics. Nevertheless, the neglect of and exclusion of the youth in society and the economy could expose young people to a high rate of radicalisation and an “us” and “them” view of the world.
The ITUC Youth Committee is committed to a world in which peace, democracy and social justice remain the overriding values.
We stand in solidarity with all young women and men who continue to struggle against the denial of their rights, including attacks on freedom of association and anti-union actions.
We call governments to invest in opportunities for the youth, ensure young people’s participation and contribution in building peace and stability and recognise and support the role of youth in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16.
We call the international community to dramatically step up its efforts to restore peace in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Those most at risk – women, children, migrants and workers in targeted occupations, must be protected.
Maintaining peace and stability requires the work of all. We pledge to remain an anchor of peace and stability.
Nana Koomah Brown-Orleans
ITUC Youth Committee Chairperson
PERC Youth Committee statement
Starting from 17 December 1999, the world, under the leadership of the United Nations, is commemorating the International Youth Day.
Since its incorporation, the International Youth Day has served as an instrument to shed light upon the challenges that young people around the world are facing and empower them to bring a joint sustainable resolve.
Under this year’s theme, the UN is focusing on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.
In line with the global effort, trade unions and union activity, both on the international and national levels, are envisaged as a sustainable tool for empowering youth activities, involvement in decision making and a force of change for a viable future.
Adherent to the UN cause, the Pan-European Regional Council of ITUC, which consists of 90 affiliated national centres, through its Youth Committee is committed to Europe in which peace, democracy and social justice remain the overriding values.
The pressing issues and challenges that youth are facing today require a resolute and consolidated engagement from all relevant stakeholders, which have the capacity and will to act on behalf of those who can’t or aren’t able to.
Following the directive of ITUC, PERC Youth Committee has set out to accomplish actions that will bring significant change to youth in the Pan-European region in the coming years. The PERC Youth Committee is working, along its partners, on the following priorities: migration, organizing and youth (un)employment. In addition, the committee is determined to strengthen cooperation with ETUC youth and PERC Women’s Committee. The Committee members are also actively involved in youth-related activities in the PERC Action Plan set out for 2016-2017, in order to empower young people with tools to protect their rights and dignity.
The PERC YC calls upon all relevant actors on the international scene and in national communities to strengthen their actions in order to put the spotlight on youth challenges, issues and their successes, which, in turn, will enable them to make a difference and be involved in actions for positive change.
Here, at PERC Youth Committee, we are committed to the aforementioned goals, we are united and are in solidarity with our fellows who strive to contribute to the wellbeing of youth and are open to cooperation, support and action that aim to shape a flourishing future for young men and women across the world.
PERC YC President