“The situation of workers in Gaza is one of the worst in the region and the world,” said Nada al-Nashif, ILO’s Regional Director for the Arab States. “Gaza’s growing youth population has a right to better work opportunities and growth with equity. They need decent jobs, a minimum of social protection and respect for their basic rights to ensure a life of dignity.”
In a report issued in June 2012, the ILO warned that the unemployment rate among Palestinians – at 21 per cent – and rising frustration at the stalled peace process could fuel more desperate measures.
|Occupied Palestinian Territory|
In Gaza – where Abu Nada died – the unemployment rate is three times the regional average. More than 80 per cent of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents are dependent on international aid and over 40 per cent live in conditions of poverty.
The young man had dropped out of school last year to help his father, a civil servant, provide for their family of eight. He found temporary informal work, washing dishes or peddling packets of potato chips in the street.
Many unskilled young people, like Abu Nada, rely on temporary informal jobs when they can find them. Those who do have university degrees often cannot find jobs that match their skills, forcing many to emigrate.
The ILO report calls for urgent attention in the form of assistance for vocational training, business development and employment directed at young men and women.
It emphasizes that there is no viable or just alternative to ending the occupation and highlights that decent and productive work for all is the best route out of poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory.