The YCW is very close to completing its 100 years of existence, but before this glorious date, it was able to hold its 15th International Council in Peru from 27 October to 7 November 2022. It took place in a very special context because, like all organizations, the YCW has been very affected by the pandemic: unable to travel, the leaders of the movement, and sometimes even the grassroots groups, had to reorganize themselves, to move to virtual meetings as much as possible, and therefore to postpone the dates of the International Council twice. It was therefore unique and wonderful to be able to hold the Council this year.
Delegations from all continents and regions participated: North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Western Europe, North and Central Africa, East and South Asia, and Oceania. For visa or other reasons, some delegations participated virtually. The council was also attended by former IYCW activists and representatives of the International Cardijn Association who, together with the activists present, did their best to collaborate to the smooth running of the council.
Shortly after the public opening and the implementation of the cultural and action exchanges held in Lima, Chiclayo and Pawana Anak Nauta, the delegations met in the district of Santa Eulalia over the following two weeks for debates, analyses, exchanges and cultural evenings, and above all to draft the strategic lines for the common action of the movement.
The IYCW developed its new International Plan of Action with the slogan "Work, justice and equality for a dignified life - Let’s be the change that youth need for the future” that will guide us for the next 4 years. Its main priorities include the fight against job insecurity and youth unemployment and the struggle for greater gender equality. It proposes the organization of young people in local communities, in alternatives of social and solidarity economy, in associations for informal workers, as well as joint work with trade unions and local cells for the protection and safety of workers' rights and health, and involvement in different forms of organization for the respect of the environment, all these as ways to tackle the inequalities that put pressure on the lives of young workers.
Issues facing young workers and society did not go unnoticed by the leaders gathered in Peru. The issue of quality and transformative education, of migration, racial and sexual inequalities, and the struggle for democracy and against hate speech are all intertwined with the IYCW's new plan of action for the future.
We were also able to initiate our plan towards the celebration of the 100 years of the YCW in 2025, the main objectives being to give more visibility to the current YCW action, to reach more young workers and to spread Cardijn's legacy, methodology and heritage.
There was also a special focus on networking through strengthening of alliances with the Church and the orientations of Pope Francis and his encyclicals, as well as with international workers' organizations and other social and environmental movements.
Finally, the IYCW chose its international coordination, composed of leaders with deep field experience and knowledge of national coordination. It has the mission to develop the movement in today's times and therefore to train activists and leaders from the grassroots.
The 15th International Council of the IYCW brought many challenges and great opportunities to our international movement. Friendships and synergies between YCWs around the world emerged in this space. The International Action Plan brings clear strategies for action campaigns in the coming years. Long live the International YCW! Long live the struggle and organization of young workers!