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We are young and we can do something!

Youth make themselves heard at the Future of You(th) event

It’s often said that the youth don’t have a voice in politics. The Future of You(th)  event has shown us this is far from the truth! Youth do have a voice, but we don’t always listen. The Future of You(th) is an online event which took place 8, 15, and 22 October 2020.  55 young people from Asia, Africa, and Latin America were present. They came together to share their experiences regarding the kinds of problems young people in their countries experience when it comes to work. They discussed the issues and possible solutions.

The event gave them recognition and connection. For example, they talked about how youth often aren’t aware of their rights and how they’re hesitant to stand up for themselves. They also spoke of their experiences in a system where older people are given more authority and the youth aren’t given a great deal of space or consideration.

“Young people are dynamic; they want to change the system. Older people in influential positions don’t always appreciate change , especially if they’re part of the current system.” (Estelle Hougnihin of COSI Benin). 

Looking towards the future

The young people came up with various practical solutions to work on these problems. Some ideas include working with universities and trade unions and using social media to share ideas. Social media is an excellent way for the youth to make their voices heard and also to build and spread knowledge about labour rights. They can do this in cooperation with trade unions and their peers. The ideas they collected have been reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as input for the Youth at Heart event.

 Youth at Heart Principles 

Encouraging each other to think in terms of what was possible was the guiding principle. Like one of the participants said at the end of the event, “We can do something!” Things have now been set in motion.

We’re pleased with the success of this event and we’re sure another one will follow!

Publication date 02 11 2020