The International Team holds its annual ordinary meeting at a time of precariousness, unemployment, globalization and digitization of work


In September 2019, the members of the IYCW International Team (IT) gathered together in Brussels for their annual ordinary meeting. Several events were organized with the participation of the IT and IYCW activists. The starting point of the reflection on different issues young people are faced with was the reality of young workers in Germany and in other countries where the IYCW is present. We conducted an action exchange on young workers’ realities, with a focus on “migrants, refugees and gender inequalities.”

During the exchange, young people from Cologne and Berlin presented their testimonies. Then the members of the International Team relayed some testimonies that reflected the reality of each continent.


Main aspects coming out of the action exchange

After the exchange on the experiences of action, the International Team continued its work of analysis, review and planning. A panel set up in Brussels with representatives of several organizations of the social and worker movement allowed us to confront our analysis with the vision of other social stakeholders.

A number of former YCW members, representatives of friendly social organizations, as well as representatives of the Walloon YCW, KAJ (Flemish YCW) and the Ghana YCW, some of which had participated in the exchange, took an active part in the debate and presented their contributions.

The panel was composed of activists, leaders, heads of institutions, such as: Luc Carton, philosopher, associate researcher at Marcel Hicter Association for Cultural Democracy, vice-president of the Fribourg (Switzerland) Observatory on diversity and cultural rights; representatives of the trade union movement  (CNE/ACV-CSC), Felipe Van Keirsbilck, CNE secretary-general; Ms Goda Neverauskaite, International Trade Union Confederation advisor for issues related to the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC); Markus Vennewald of COMECE ; as well as activists involved in people’s and women’s movements, including Gertraud Langwiesner, leader at Vie Féminine, and also Sarah Prenger, president of the International YCW.

The panelists dealt with aspects aiming at deepening our analysis of perspectives regarding education, work precariousness and the unprecedented rollback of labor rights. They helped us to better understand the actions and struggles carried out by trade unions, the worker organizations and people’s movements to address the reality. We also discussed education and gender inequalities as an essential crosscutting axis of our struggle and work to promote the transformation of society.

The speakers’ presentations helped us to see the different visions of one same reality facing us around the world. We discussed the challenges and characteristics of (continuous and popular) education in a world in deep economic, social and ecological crisis.

The IYCW took advantage of this opportunity to confront those realities and experiences with its mission based on education through action, its educational process, its method of analysis (see-judge-act), and its action-based pedagogy (task of education) in a world where casual work and unemployment prevail.

Finally, the International Team held its annual ordinary meeting, with emphasis on the evaluation of the international plan of action 2016-2020. The evaluation is part of the preparation process towards the XV International Council of the IYCW due to take place in Lima, Peru in 2020.

A representative of the YCW Europe coordination, as well as members/collaborators of the International Cardijn Association (ICA) also attended the International Team meeting for some parts of the debate. This helped to analyze in greater depth the general situation faced by the International YCW regarding its processes of action, extension and networking with allied organizations. The challenges of all the national movements members of the International YCW were also discussed.

The IYCW International president closed the meeting with a spirited message addressed to all young workers of the world, urging the national movements, youth organizations and the society as a whole to take part in the process of preparation of the next international council of the IYCW whose slogan will be “Called to act for a just world.”

Brussels, 30 October 2019

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