International Youth Day Statement 2017: The Future of Work that we want

On International Youth Day, the ITUC Youth Committee calls on young workers, organisers, activists and union leaders to use our collective strength to help shape a future of work that guarantees quality decent jobs for young people, everywhere.

A future that enables young people to benefit from changes in the world of work – whether it is the knowledge economy, the green economy, the “gig” economy or elsewhere; that supports young people to make choices and decisions over their own lives; and that ensures that quality education, healthcare, childcare and social care are available to everyone.

Young people face a very uncertain future. A surge in global youth unemployment, increasingly precarious and informal jobs, the changing world of work and rising inequality are some of the challenges that confront young people today. The many wars and conflicts, the extreme climate events that are producing millions of refugees and displaced persons and the relentless spread of nationalist populism, racism, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia mean too many people are living in fear in today’s fractured world.

As young people, we have the power to shape the future of work and the world we want. From the Black Lives Matter movements in the United States, to the powerful student protests in South Africa, to the youth protests against labour market deregulation in Europe, and the young peace activists in Colombia, to organising corporate giants such as Starbucks and McDonalds, young people are openly challenging the prevailing economic and political status quo.

As young trade union organisers and activists, we remain committed to organising around high quality decent work, workplaces free from discrimination and violence, equality of opportunity, fair wages, and gender-sensitive social protection systems for young people.

We remain firm in our demands for an economic system that guarantees fundamental human rights, protects our planet, prioritises people above corporations, and provides for the basics for everyone to live in decency and dignity.

We envision a future where the values of peace, democracy, solidarity and social justice are a reality.

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