In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.
International Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
There is no universally agreed international definition of the youth age group. For statistical purposes, however, the United Nations - without prejudice to any other definitions made by Member States - defines "youth" as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years. This definition, which arose in the context of preparations for the International Youth Year (1985) (see A/36/215), was endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 36/28 of 1981.
This statistically oriented definition of youth, in turn, entails that children are considered those persons under the age of 14. Worthy of note, however, is that Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines ‘children’ as persons up to the age of 18. At the time, it was hoped that the Convention would provide protection and rights to as large an age-group as possible, especially as there was no similar document on the rights of youth.
Many countries also draw the line on youth with regard to the age at which a person is given equal treatment under the law - often referred to as the "age of majority." This age is commonly 18 in many countries; so that once a person attains this age, he or she is considered to be an adult. Nonetheless, the operational definition and nuances of the term "youth" vary from country to country, depending on relative sociocultural, institutional, economic and political factors.
Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population . By 2030 - the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make up the 2030 Agenda - the number of youth is projected to have grown by 7 per cent, to nearly 1.3 billion.
The theme of International Youth Day 2022, “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind. It will also raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons, while having detrimental effects on society as a whole.
Ageism is an insidious and often an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, and has bearings on both older and younger populations around the world. In addition, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them to reach their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.
The Global Report on Ageism launched by the United Nations in March 2021 highlights that despite lack of research, young people continue to report age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives such as employment, political participation, health and justice. The report also identifies intergenerational interventions as one of the three key strategies to address ageism. Intergenerational activities can also lead to a greater sense of social connectedness and strengthen intergenerational solidarity.
Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. As we navigate the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to recognize and address these age-related barriers to “build back better” in a manner that leverages all generations’ strengths and knowledge.
Did you know?
Recovery in youth employment is still lagging, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which confirms that the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt young people more than any other age group.
The Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022: Investing in transforming futures for young people report finds that the pandemic has exacerbated the numerous labour market challenges facing those aged between 15 and 24 years, who have experienced a much higher percentage loss in employment than adults since early 2020. The total global number of unemployed youths is estimated to reach 73 million in 2022, a slight improvement from 2021 (75 million) but still six million above the pre-pandemic level of 2019, the report says.
The share of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in 2020 – the latest year for which a global estimate is available – rose to 23.3 per cent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the previous year and a level not seen in at least 15 years. This group of young people are at particular risk of seeing their labour market opportunities and outcomes deteriorate also over the longer-term as “scarring” effects take hold.
Young women are worse off than young men, exhibiting a much lower employment-to-population ratio (EPR). In 2022, 27.4 per cent of young women globally are projected to be in employment, compared to 40.3 per cent of young men. This means that young men are almost 1.5 times more likely than young women to be employed. The gender gap, which has shown little sign of closing over the past two decades, is largest in lower-middle-income countries, at 17.3 percentage points, and smallest in high-income countries, at 2.3 percentage points.
To view the complete report, click here.
Source : UN
Last Modified : 8/12/2022
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