Youth Engagement for Global Action
With the world getting more and more connected and turning into a global village, the expectations of the aspiring younger generation are skyrocketing. While the possibility of able to attain a living with enhanced quality of life is becoming attainable, it has a difficult side of the same.
The gap between your aspirations and ability to realise them is increasing and youth finds themselves being subjected to stress, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes rises to an extreme level, where they choose to take their own lives. The increasing suicide rates among youth has reached an alarming state. There are many issues relating to youth which needs the attention of the governments, societies, more importantly, the family members.
In 1999, UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the “World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth” that 12 August be declared “International Youth Day” and being commemorated every year since then. The theme for 2020 is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”. The commemoration seeks to highlight how engaging youth at the local, national, and global levels can be enriching the institutions and processes. Also, to draw lessons on how representation and engagement of youth in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
The world’s population is growing larger and older. People are becoming more mobile and more urbanised. According to the latest UN estimates, there are 1.2 billion persons between ages 15 and 24 in 2019, that is around one in every six persons worldwide. It is projected to grow by 7% in 2030 and would peak around 2065. The share of youth migrants varies greatly among regions. Worryingly the youth population in the poorest countries is projected to increase by 62% by 2050. In 2017, the estimated number of young people aged 15 to 24 years living outside their country of birth reached 28 million, constituting 11 per cent of the global migrant population (258 million).
Education and youth employment are essential for reaping the “demographic dividend”. The ability of countries to harness the same and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 depends critically on ensuring access to health care (SDG 3) and education (SDG 4), and on providing productive employment and decent work for all, especially youth (SDG 8).
Educating youth and ensuring holistic development is the way out. Empower the youth to find out what their strength is and providing avenues to realise the same is the responsibility of the societies in which they are living. Pursuing sports, fine arts and learning to live in congruence with the surrounding and accepting the diversity is to be taught.
Another issue the societies facing is, the generation gap, the number of years in which the generation gap sets in is getting reduced with time, a five years gap in the age is being perceived as people belonging to different generations. The human being is a social creature and living with others in harmony is of paramount importance. To live together happily requires adjustment and the increasing gap is making it difficult. Another challenge the world is facing is living with understanding with the elderly. The quadrant of the younger generation getting filled and the others getting depleted and consequent imbalance is posing a challenge. It is forcing the societies to find new norm and equilibrium. The economic disparities and the need to find employment in distant places (migration) is making things difficult. Above all, looking outside for joy and satisfaction, taking oneself away far from realising the same. Governments and societies across the globe need to take urgent steps to reduce the imbalance and prepare the youth to handle the challenges and make their lives happier and make the world a better place to live.
Most of the challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action, meaningful engagement and participation of the younger generation to be addressed effectively.