Today, as the real and perceived inequality and precarity increase, young people struggle more and more to participate in the work of organisations, activism or decision-making processes due to the economic and social distress they are experiencing. In the context we are living in, the working conditions are shaped by the mere motivation of profit-seeking rather than by guaranteed social rights. Although this paradigm affects the working life of everyone, young people get affected much more. This is visible through unpaid internships, discrimination at work, longer working hours, insufficient wages and getting fired easily with no compensation.
The rise of new technologies, globalisation, rapid changes in the world of work, economic crisises, automatisation, and now COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted labour markets across the world. The youth’s chances of decent, long term and meaningful employment is decreasing. Especially, Covid-19 crisis is reshaping working conditions and speeding the digital transformation.
Age-based discrimination is the most prevalent form of discrimination at work, with young workers among those reporting the highest levels of discrimination. Until today, the CoE has no functioning labour legislation protecting the population in many Eastern member states. Fatal occupational accidents in the Commonwealth of Independent States are largely due to open contact with hazardous substances and the lack of safety norms in construction. In some countries (Georgia, Russia, Belarus and Greece) there is no Labour inspection, or it is not mandatory. In most cases there are no support mechanisms for advocating for decent working conditions and the demands of the youth is often opposed to the interests of the investors, causing the states to fail to implement the recommendations of the CoE. In addition to that, the social protection schemes and welfare systems in the region are very weak or nonexistent.
Global recession, ongoing armed conflicts and unresolved territorial disputes are expected to result in loss of millions of jobs and cause displacement and migration of youth, leading them to take unsafe and insecure jobs while social and economic conditions will become unbearable.
This is why Cooperation and Development Network (CDN) and Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) are organising a study session “Work that Works for all: Shaping Europe’s Future of Work” which will take place from 15th to 20th of November 2021 in the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. The arrival date for the participants is 14th and departure date on 21st.
With this activity we aim to empower 40 young Europeans in accessing their social rights – the right to decent work (the right to work, and the right to adequate social protection) and support them in becoming agents of change in their local communities through human rights education. This will be done by meeting the following objectives:
- To explore the legal, structural and societal challenges and barriers young people face while accessing their right to decent work in different European countries;
- To deepen participants’ understanding of youth unemployment and youth precarity, their social (political, economic) and individual (physical and mental health) consequences, and the intersection of these consequences;
- To explore the existing opportunities and initiatives for young people in accessing meaningful work, adequate standard of living and social security, as well as to develop participants’ understanding and solidarity about the social and economic conditions their peers are facing;
- To equip the participants and their organisations with the tools for countering the challenges and consequences of inaccessible Social rights.
This youth event will be based on Non Formal Education methodology.