The IYCW was invited to the 41st UNESCO general assembly which took place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France from 9-24 November 2021. As an official partner of UNESCO, the IYCW was invited to provide its views on the issues currently under the attention of UNESCO.
Sarah Prenger, the IYCW president, shared her views on education, work and youth. She appreciated the director general of UNESCO highlighting the impact of educational disruption due to the pandemic on almost two billion learners.
“I thank the director general of UNESCO for pointing out that in the year 2020, 1.6 billion learners were affected by an unprecedented educational disruption. These data just show how billions of people around the world are far from living in dignity,” Sarah said.
She explained that it is also a matter of inequalities. Those inequalities, already existing before the pandemic, are based on age, gender, sector and type of work, economic wealth, nationality and geographical background. They became even worse over the last years, following the pandemic.
In this sense, Sarah urged to continue our collective struggles aiming at social justice, dignified work and quality education for all.
“As young workers, we call all governments and member states to really invest in strong social protection. That social protection obviously must include quality education for all. We demand this education to be free, because education is a human right,” pointed out Sarah.
According to Sarah, such approach obviously needs solidarity as well as investment. For that, the IYCW is calling on all to really invest here. We are also calling on all governments and states to check who the actors are who did not suffer but who profited economically from the pandemic in the last years. It must be ensured that these actors contribute to the common good accordingly.
For the YCW, training and educating young workers does not only mean education in the formal system, but it means educating in such a way that we can solve the contradictions we face. To this end, the IYCW continues to promote young people’s participation and to organize them wherever possible.
“We urge everyone to promote young people’s participation so that we, young people, can give our contribution to today’s world,” Sarah emphasised.
In her closing remarks, Sarah congratulated UNESCO for the symbolic celebration of its 75th anniversary. Sarah believes that the contribution of UNESCO in building peace through international cooperation in education, science and culture is immeasurable and worth more than all the gold in the world.
“Let us continue to engage on this same path,” Sarah concluded, calling all member states to take part in this collective process.