Young Workers as Actors of Change
“The YCW is, by definition, a mass organization considering its aim, composition and methods. It wants to influence and conquer the masses, change the lives of the masses, re-convert the heart of the masses to Christianity, and meet the needs of the masses.”
Taken and translated from the book “Creo en ti, juventud trabajadora”
Every year the International YCW promotes the celebration of the International Week of Young Workers (IWYW) from April 24th to May 1st. During that week young workers in different countries claim their rights and denounce the oppressing realities of youth through training activities and other events.
During the celebration of the 2011 International Week of Young Workers, the IYCW wants to motivate action and strengthen our international campaign for social protection, the right to decent work, the right to quality education, and the right to a society with gender equality.
Through the actions and activities we are carrying out, we will be able to implement Cardijn's thought and make of our movement a movement at the heart of the mass of young workers.
According to the UN, “[g]lobally, there are nearly 1.2 billion people aged 15 to 24”. We can say, therefore, that young people are an important sector of society. There is much to be done about their dreams and needs. The world needs to hear their voice. As seen in the latest demonstrations around the world, young people have always been the promoters of aspirations. They are the real actors bringing the needed change into society.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), “Youth represent 44 per cent of the total unemployed, although they only make up 25 per cent of the working-age population. Many young people cannot afford to be unemployed and must take any employment they can find. The result is an estimated 125 million young working poor”. The IWYW is a means to denounce that reality and help young workers to play an even bigger role as actors of change.
Our objectives for the International Week of Young Workers 2011 can be defined as follows:
· Maximize the potential of and promote our campaign on social protection: just work, quality education and gender equality.
· Support the identification, review and planning of reference actions within the movement.
· Strengthen our articulation with other organizations regarding our campaign on social protection for young people and our mass character.
· Continue the financial campaign towards international subscription and strengthen the national movements.
· Review and development of a concrete long-term and short-term planning for the actions we have identified.
· The national movements promote activities which directly strengthen the campaign on Social Protection.
· Steps towards and preparation for the ILC participation.
· The international, worker and mass characteristics of the movement are reinforced.
· Up to May 2011, several NMs start or continue their national campaign and use the IWYW as a means to increase membership.
· The social protection campaign has the support of various social/worker organizations at the different levels of the movement (national, regional and international), which gives more visibility to the movement among young workers and in society in general.
· Fundraising campaigns and/or International Day’s Pay Appeal carried out in the national movements with a view to reinforcing both their self-financing and the IYCW.
Activities and Means
· Collect testimonies from young workers (videos, written testimonies, other means…).
· Collect actions and plan specific actions (use the action monograph document).
· Use the reference actions during the IWYW for review with YWs.
· Collect the long-term and short-term planning for the actions we have identified.
· Develop symbolic actions and demonstrations at national and international levels.
· Promotion of discussion forums on social protection.
· Collect videos and other creative means to promote the actions from NMs.
· Disclose the actions and testimonies (use IYCW website, posters and other means).
· Make the actions and proposals of the IYCW known among the mass of young workers (through the various activities carried out in the national movements).
· Writing of an article to encourage movements to plan the IWYW as an action for the mass of young workers.
· Poster for the celebration of the IWYW: Social Protection.
· Intensive communication with young workers within the movement by email, calls, Facebook, other means.
· Re-launch of the IYCW website.
· Activities report – Encourage the NMs to send reports on the activities they carried out.
· Collect special contribution from the NMs, former members to support the international campaign.
Creativity is one weapon young people have to combat oppression. Some ideas are provided here, but you, together with your friends, can do much more. Get in touch with the local or national YCW leaders in your country and ask them to help you carry out all or part of the activities mentioned above in your city or region.
Let our actions promote change in society at the local, national and international levels.
Click here for more information regarding the history of the IWYW.