01 April 2012

ILO Video Contest and Youth Unemployment: Present and Future

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has launched a video contest! Those of you affected by youth employment issues can enter. Although this is aimed at youth, not children, I still thought I would post it here because youth unemployment is a major issue and if solutions are not found, today's children will grow up to face bleak prospects.

Population Explosion!

The global population is growing at a record rate. Today, an article in the Sunday Times News Review gave these statistics on the global population:
  • It took 250,000 years to reach 1 billion people.
  • It then took another century to reach 2 billion people.
  • After that, it took 33 years to reach 3 billion people. 
  • The gap between the birth of the sixth and seventh billionth human was just over a decade. (This milestone was reached in October 2011.)
  • It is estimated that by 2050, the global population will be greater than 9 billion people.
The Sunday Times article was about a baby, Cai, born in London three days ago and looked at what his future might be like. It was suggested that, depending on his career, he may want to relocate East, as Asia looks set to have the strongest economic growth. Click below to visit the Population Reference Bureau's interactive map showing which countries and regions will have the highest rates of population growth by 2050, and other factors as well, including how infant mortality rates and poverty rates will change.

PRB World Population

I wonder what youth unemployment will look like in 2050. I hope that the situation will have improved greatly by then, but this depends on the action we take now.

More Youth and More Youth Unemployment

UNICEF's working paper released in February 2012, When the Global Crisis and Youth Bulge Collidelooks at the impact of the economic downturn alongside the youth bulge. Since the economic crisis, the number of unemployed people has drastically risen globally, although there was already a problem with youth unemployment before the downturn. The youth bulge means that a significantly large percentage of the global population consists of youth, which intensifies the problem. 

The report states that approximately every year, 121 million adolescents turn sixteen years old (89 % of which are in developing regions) and can enter the world's labour force. However, many of those who want to work, cannot find jobs. Nearly 1.1 billion new potential workers are expected between 2012 and 2020. 

Last month's issue of the Southern Innovator gives some more interesting, and in some cases worrying, figures. 100 million jobs will have to be created in the Middle East and North Africa by 2020 to meet demand. 130 million people between 15 and 24 cannot read or write. One in five African youth without a business would like to start one.

This situation is already greatly affecting the world's youth and will impact every child born today. 

A child looking after a baby in Cape Coast, Ghana. 
What will their future prospects be?

Speak Out!

I came across the ILO's video contest on Decent Work for Youth and it is a great idea. The contest is for people aged between eighteen and twenty-nine who are affected by the global job crisis - whether by struggling to find a job, or by working under poor conditions. Participants must submit their videos by 10 April 2012 and winners will be able to present their videos at the ILO Youth Employment Forum in Geneva on 23-25 May 2012. Here is their video introduction to the contest:

Click here for further details on the ILO website.

Hopefully the ILO Youth Employment Forum, and also the 101st International Labour Conference, which will include an agenda item on the youth employment crisis, will be fruitful in finding solutions for the problems of the youth of today and tomorrow. 

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