To Meet Post Covid-19 Challenges, the IYCW Calls To Work With and For Young Workers

webinar dec 2020

Young workers have been particularly affected by the pandemic that hit all continents in 2020. Governments and actors of society have to unite to support them, as requested by the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) based in Brussels and active on all continents. 

With the title “The impact of Covid-19 on young workers,” the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) has published, in about twenty pages, an analysis based on the See-Judge-Act method of the movement. It was presented at the beginning of a webinar that brought together over a hundred participants from more than 30 different countries on Saturday, December 12, despite the time differences. They included current and former YCW leaders, but also partners and supporters from all over the world, from Australia and Venezuela to Belgium, from Gabon to Argentina, from Sri Lanka and Canada to Tanzania, including members of other movements and organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO).

An In-Depth Study

Quoting testimonies of YCW members from Egypt, Peru, Haiti, Germany, Japan, Brazil and the Philippines, this analysis first shows that due to the spread of Covid-19, young workers were among the first victims and they lost their sources of income, but also that the digitization of the (working) world has accelerated with both positive and negative consequences. The survey goes on to indicate that gender inequalities and injustices are even more pronounced and that migrants are particularly impacted, especially in refugee camps where it is, to say the least, difficult to respect social distancing! The lack of social protection is even more blatant, health is endangered as it is not being guaranteed at work, and reactions within the society vary greatly, with on the one hand many actions of solidarity and, on the other hand, many questions as to the real societal priorities.

Listen to the Cry of the Most Vulnerable in the Most Crucial Time We Face as Humans! And Take Steps in their Favor!

violence against women 2

Today, November 25, as we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we, the International Young Christian Workers, want to highlight the issues that young women are facing all over the world, from harassment to violence, discrimination and femicide, and we want to let those young women know that their cry has been heard.

"My boss wanted me to be alone with him all the time so he could kiss me by force. He was very aggressive. It became very difficult to say no to him. I didn't say anything because I had no choice and I needed the job. He ended up firing me because I was resisting him. That day I went home crying because I realized that I was unemployed again". - Gabon

In the last decades, humanity took steps toward the elimination of violence against women, but throughout this year only, all those steps have been demolished and humanity has taken hundreds of steps backward.

IYCW Statement on the International Day for Decent Work

2020 10 07 11 11

“My name is Ganis Rengganis, I am 28 years old. I am married and have 1 child. I work in a book printing company in the Solokan Jeruk area, Bandung Regency, Indonesia, I have worked in this company for 6 years. Every day I work from 8 am to 5 pm. The monthly salary I received in this company was Rp. 1,500,000 or $ 100 USD. If my family and I were sick, I was forced to pay my own expenses to the doctor, because as long as I worked, the company did not enroll me and my family in health insurance.

I also didn’t have the social insurance and other rights that I should get. Of course, that wage was not sufficient for the necessities of life for me and my family, especially since I have a 2-year-old child. I was forced to work in this company with a wage below the minimum wage, because in our area it was very difficult to find jobs, especially for men, if there are jobs where the companies are better, we have to pay a very large amount of money to get to work in big company.

If we protested to employers, they would not hesitate to scold the workers and were threatened with layoffs. Most workers are afraid of the attitude of employers like that, and we are afraid of losing our jobs, so there is no other choice, we only work according to the employer's orders, even though in a state of pressure and discomfort.