Half the World Is Under 25, and Half of Those Employed Are “Stuck in Low-wage, Dead-end jobs”


Human Wrongs Watch

11 July 2014 – Half the world is under 25 years of age – nearly 90 per cent of them in developing countries, according to UN figures. However, half of those employed from the group are either unemployed or in UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s words, “stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs.”
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Young people contributing to a workshop on climate change in Iguiwaz, Morocco. Photo: UNDP/CBA Baptiste de Ville d’Avray

Young people contributing to a workshop on climate change in Iguiwaz, Morocco. Photo: UNDP/CBA Baptiste de Ville d’Avray

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With 1.8 billion young people around the world – the largest generation of youth in history – senior United Nations officials marked World Population Day with calls for a renewed commitment to helping young people improve their lives and the common future.*
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“Action is urgently needed,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, stressing that too many young people are denied a right to a quality education, a decent job, and participation in the political life of their societies.

Particular Concern about Adolescent Girls
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He expressed particular concern about adolescent girls who may face discrimination, sexual violence, early marriage and unwanted pregnancies.
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“The solution lies in investment in health, education, training and employment for young people as they undergo the critical transition to adulthood,” Ban underscored.
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An estimated 515 million adolescents and youth, aged 15 to 24, live on less than $2 a day, and millions more face gender discrimination and other forms of marginalization.
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Half the world is under 25 years of age – nearly 90 per cent of them in developing countries, according to UN figures. However, half of those employed from the group are either unemployed or in Ban’s words, “stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs.”
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“I call on all with influence to prioritize youth in development plans, strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations, and involve young people in all decisions that affect them,” the UN chief said.
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Young people are also speaking out for themselves, Ban said, noting that more than 1,000 youth organizations endorsed a Global Youth Call to recommend youth-focused goals and targets in the sustainable development agenda that will start after 2015, the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Some 515 Million Adolescents and Youth, Aged 15 to 24, Live on Less Than $2 a Day
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In his message, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, said: “We know that healthy, educated, productive and fully engaged young people can help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and are more resilient in the face of individual and societal challenges.”
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Yet too many youth continue to grapple with poverty, inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential, he said noting that according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) an estimated 515 million adolescents and youth, aged 15 to 24, live on less than $2 a day, and millions more face gender discrimination and other forms of marginalization.
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Youth Are in a Critical Stage
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“A sustainable future depends on having resilient populations, which cannot be achieved without investments in young people,” said  Osotimehin, adding that youth not only form a large proportion of the world’s population and deserve their fair share as a matter of equity, but are also in a critical stage of their lifecycle that will determine their future – and thus those of their families, communities, and societies.
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Call on UN Member States and other stakeholders to invest in this generation of young people who are at the centre of the new post-2015 development agenda, General Assembly President John Ashe in his message on the Day, said that” only by partnering with young people can we make the planet more resilient and our future more prosperous.”
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Observed annually on 11 July, World Population Day focuses attention on the importance of population issues in the context of development plans and programmes, and the need to find solutions for these issues.
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*Source: UN Release. . Read also: . World’s Youth Facing Worsening Unemployment – UN Warns . World Youth: No Jobs, No Education; Big Frustration, Scare . Record Increase of Unemployed Youth–Additional 4.5 Millions Worldwide in One Year . Youth Unemployment To Worsen Everywhere . UN Warns of Possible ‘Lost Generation’ Amidst Economic Crisis . A Lost Generation Also in Rich, Industrialised Countries . The Lost Arab Generation . 130 Million People Seeking Job? Try Again in Two, Three, Four Years … . Child Labour Returns to Europe . Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?  . Financial Trafficking in Millions of Citizens Is Not ‘Illicit’! Europeans, the Once Upon a Time Refugees! .

2014 Human Wrongs Watch

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