The Global Youth Population Report 2016 estimates that in 2017, World Youth Population will reach 1.8 billion youth between the age 15-29, almost 90 % living in less developed countries, hile according to the International organization for labour (IOL) trends, youth unemployment is on the rise. The youth unemployment rate in the world is predicted to rise to 13.1 % in 2017, which corresponds to 71 million unemployed youth. Taking into consideration UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which UN General Assembly adopted in 2015, addressing the young people needs, rights, capabilities, commitment and active involvement in the implementation of the SDGs is vital.
However, the voices and potential of young people are very often not taken into consideration or even neglected. More than that, young people continue facing various challenges, such as lack of access to quality education, unemployment, lack of decent work opportunities, political participation, – just to mention few.
Very often youth face inequalities and discrimination based on their gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, race. According to OECD Report 2016, in 2015, only a little bit over one-third out of 183 countries have achieved gender equality in the enrollment in the secondary education level.
And yet with the rise of the usage of social media and digital technologies, young people today are more active and engaged in community development, social entrepreneurship than ever before. Young people have started to express their voices, opinions, demand for their rights, challenge the status quo of the old structures.
The world youth community is connecting with each other, getting organised and co-creating campaigns, projects, start-ups for sustainable social and environmental development of our cities and communities. It is hard to neglect the fact that the youth today are the leaders of today and tomorrow.
We have seen that since 2009, the youth were able to mobilize and start movements, challenge the old political structures and lead social, economic and political transformations worldwide.
Today, we can see the rise of the number of young community leaders, change agents, activists, social entrepreneurs who have the same goal, – to bring a positive change at local, national and international levels. From improving the education, building dialogue between nations, combating discrimination, hate speech online to solving youth unemployment by creating social enterprises by themselves.
Business, governments and civil society organisations today have the chance to build sustainable communities together with young people and embrace the innovative and creative mindset of the younger generations.