United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged governments to invest more in youth employment initiatives and promote decent work for all.

Mr. Ban noted that half of the world’s young people in the labour force are either working poor or unemployed. The global youth unemployment situation is intolerable, particularly for young women.

“In countries rich and poor, unemployment rates for young people are many times those of adults – and, of course, joblessness is the tip of the iceberg,” the Secretary-General stated. “Many are stuck in low-wage work with no protection in the informal economy. Many others find that their schooling has not equipped them with the right tools for today’s job market.”

The Secretary-General also urged trade unions, employers’ organizations and the private sector at large to empower more youth in their own structures and engage with youth-led organizations, noting that the private sector is key to job creation and that trade unions have a fundamental role in promoting and protecting young workers’ rights.

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