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‘Global youth unemployment hits 66m amid rising poverty’


International Labour Organisation

• Poor occupational safety, health practices costs $3trillon annually
Global youth unemployment figure has risen to 66 million and nearly 145 million youths that are working live in abject poverty, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has revealed.

Modern labour markets is identified as a tough place for job seekers, as many feel pressure to accept the first job offer they get, often without considering if the working conditions put their health and safety at risk.This is a problem, since young workers suffer from injury and illness on the job at far higher rates than their adult counterparts.

To scale up action and impact youth employment under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ILO over the weekend at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, held a conference on innovations for decent jobs for youth.

The event provided a platform for governments, social partners, youth and civil society, private sector, foundations, United Nations entities and beyond to explore collaboration on innovations that work for decent jobs for youth under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2018 Decent Jobs for Youth translated evidence into action at country level, where partners identified and stimulated innovative thinking and collaboration on youth employment advancing Decent Jobs for Youth’s strategy for 2018-2019 including innovative financing for youth employment and exploring cutting-edge mechanisms with potential for wide replication and high impact on labour market outcomes of youth.

Poor occupational safety and health practices cost an estimated 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year, translating to $3 trillion. While these estimates are based primarily on the economic cost to businesses and government, when a young worker is injured, years of productivity are lost along with the investment in education and training.

In 2014, 374 million workers globally suffered non-fatal occupational injuries. The high rate of injury among young people is of particular concern, as one accident can destroy a life and a lifetime of career opportunities, earnings potential and general well-being.

To improve the safety and health of young workers, empowering young people to take action to protect themselves and their peers at work should be at the heart of strategies while youth occupational safety and health champions can act as international spokespeople for better safety and health and bring much-needed creativity, energy and commitment to the table.

Young people are also advised that since they understand the realities of their working lives better than anyone, their voices and ideas should be central to efforts to guarantee their safety and health at work.

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