International Youth Day 2018

Creating Safe Spaces for Youth in the World of Work

"Join us on International Youth Day in committing to step up actions to promote safe spaces for young people that enhance their opportunities to secure decent work," says ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

Statement | 10 August 2018
© Monty Rakusen/Cultura Creative
A recent ILO survey on youth and the future of work asked young people how they envision their work life over the next 10 to 15 years. Many regarded the future either “with fear” or “with uncertainty” – and this response was more prevalent in developed countries.

Nearly 64 million young people are unemployed, and one in four youth are not in employment, education or training. This is without taking into account underemployment and the challenges of survival in the informal economy, which is the situation of many young people.

Young people want jobs with decent wages that offer opportunities for a better life, training that opens up such opportunities and social protection that helps them to attain their goals. They also want their voices to be heard.

While many young people are succeeding and thriving, too many are blocked and are without opportunity, guidance and room for growth.

It is a loss to all if the energy and creativity of youth cannot be supported and released. Creating safe spaces for youth in the world of work is an important step that can help create an environment where young people can tackle a range of challenges, from employability to entrepreneurship, organization and respect for their rights.

Such safe spaces must be inclusive, assuring dignity and respect to all young people, regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality or ideology. This will require innovation, renewed commitment, concerted action and, most importantly, the engagement of young people.

Governments, trade unions, employers and their organizations, as well as communities and others can do much to support and develop the spaces that provide young people with physical and psychological safety to learn, hone skills and share ideas and experiences in a constructive atmosphere. Through social dialogue, they can engage with young people on the issues that are central to their present circumstances and future prospects, in order to find solutions that are geared to the needs of young people.

Join us on International Youth Day in committing to step up actions to promote safe spaces for young people that enhance their opportunities to secure decent work.