Coordinated by the Novia Salcedo Foundation (Spain), the international campaign for a Youth Employment Decade is an initiative from civil society to generate an international movement of reflection, thought, debate and action, that provides ideas, content and solutions for the problem of unemployment or the situation of no decent employment that millions of youths are experiencing across the world.
The final objective of this Campaign is for the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2019-2028 a “Youth Employment Decade” as an opportunity to drive the economic and social transformation of organisations and countries.
To attain its objectives, the campaign will organise its action around three fields of activities: communication and awareness; creation of knowledge; and institutional relations. These three levels of action are necessary and complementary to build a real network to support the final objective that is the implementation of the “Youth Employment Decade” by the United Nations.
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With the new MEPs already beginning their mandate next week, the work to ensure that youth are at the centre of the EU's agenda has already begun.
The Groups and their leadership have already been formed over the month of July. The next steps before the Summer will be for the MEPs to decide their committees and the Parliament's leadership positions, as well as possibly elect the President of the European Commission.
The difficulties that young people in Europe face - unemployment, social & political exclusion have been at the centre of the debate during the last European Elections. Parties at national and European levels and the leading candidates have highlighted these issues as areas for EU action, therefore some positive change for young people at EU level can be expected. However, pressure needs to be maintained to ensure that words lead to action and that the different parties unite to solve these problems.
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As Jean-Claude Juncker has finally been appointed by the European Council to be the next president of European Commission (pending Parliament approval), it is interesting to examine how much EU political representatives will focus on youth.
At the end of last week, the 28 Heads of State and Government agreed on the next top priorities for the European Union for the 2014-2019 legislature. This strategic agenda clearly lacks a long-term vision. It includes no specific, targeted measures or concrete steps to help in the creation of quality jobs for young people. Moreover, the only mention of the challenge of youth unemployment is in reference to “empowering citizens”, rather than under “growth and jobs”. A clear sign that EU Heads of State and Government are not prepared to give the much-needed investment in young people that is necessary.
The European Parliament seems to be much more inclined to tackle the youth unemployment issue. Indeed, three political groups (the conservative EPP, the socialists S&D and the liberals ALDE) – which are likely to form a coalition within the assembly as together they have 479 seats out of 751 – have all included the fight against youth unemployment as one of their key priorities, mainly linked to an efficient implementation of the youth guarantee.
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Any future development and advancement in the world stems from quality education for children and young people. Without access to quality education, development would be stagnant. With this in mind, 100 European policy-makers, representatives of civil society and researchers met for the “Citizens for Global Education, Education for Global Citizenship” Conference.
The conference took place 24th-25th June in Brussels and was organised by CONCORD Europe, in partnership with Oxfam International, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, Beyond2015, UNESCO, Education International, the Global Campaign for Education, Engagement Global, CIVICUS and in support of the Global Education First Initiative.
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La Via Campesina welcomes the resolution approved at the UN Human Rights Council to draw up a binding treaty to punish the crimes of transnational companies (TNC's). “This is a victory for peasants, who in most cases are unable to access legal systems to take actions against the impunity of TNCs. Also, looking at the current agricultural activities that have been captured by multinational companies, the instrument will be a great tool for the victims to file cases against land-grabbing by TNCs. We thank the initiating countries and the countries that voted in favour.” said Themba Chauke from the South African Landless Peoples Movement, a member of La Via Campesina.
Violence, evictions, intimidation, the criminalisation of struggles as well as assassinations of farmers who are defending their livelihood, their land and their communities have become common practice used by agribusiness, TNCs, local elites and governments. This violence is linked to the privatization of nature, the concentration of land and the increased corporate control of the food chain.Transnational companies such as Nestlé, Syngenta, Bayer... have been responsible for numerous crimes such as violent land evictions, abuse and contamination of the commons (seeds, water, soil...), the promotion of unhealthy junk food and the increased use of agrotoxins in food production. The industrial food system exploits agricultural and food workers, especially the undocumented workers.The approval of the resolution is positive progress towards balancing the power and accountability of these companies, and reducing their global impunity. Social movements and NGOs have successfully brought pressure to bear on States to approve the tabled resolution. “The goal of the mobilisation is not only to put pressure on the States to put in place laws to control companies and to safeguard rights, but also to denounce the “architecture of impunity” that protects TNCs operations through aspects such as economic agreements, a long history of structural adjustment imposed by the IMF, and the Free Trade Agreements that are all harmful to human rights,” said Leandro Scalabrin of the Movement of victims of Dams in Brazil.
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