ASPAC Message: : "Young Workers Demand a Decent Living Income"

 aspaccampaign“In the world today, there is a wide gap between the decent life everyone is supposed to be entitled to and the difficulty we have to meet our most basic needs,” said the YCW Asia Pacific (ASPAC) team in a statement it has recently published.

The ASPAC YCW mentions appalling statistics from international institutions. For instance, according to the World Bank, around 50% of the world population lives with less than US$2.50 a day while in Asia alone, even in the least industrialized countries, you need at least USD15 to 20 per day to meet basic needs. Around the world, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. The ILO reported that about 5.1 billion people (75% of the world population) are not covered by adequate social security, while according to UN-Habitat, 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation and 884 million people lack access to adequate sources of drinking water.

The Reality of Young Workers in Asia

The statement includes some testimonies from young workers in Asian countries.

“I am working in a construction field and I am a daily wage worker. I am 20 years old, yet I am the one responsible to take care of my family. I have 3 younger brothers and sisters whom I am supporting for their education and family food expenses. I receive a salary of PhP250/day (US$ 5). With this salary, we can’t even afford to have a good meal three times a day. There are days that we eat rice with magic syrup (artificial cooking powder), adding water in it.” - Jomarie Navarro, Philippines

The Bicycle Rally of the India YCW


Promoting the Rights of Informal Workers and Unemployed Youth

The India YCW has been carrying out a campaign for an increase in the minimum wage of informal workers and for the right to employment for the unemployed. In order to raise awareness among the civil society on those issues and bring those demands to the attention of the local government, the India YCW organised a bicycle rally covering four rural areas (Pallappatti, Ethiload, Silukuvarpatti and Nilakottai) around Dindigul in the district of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, on 16th February.

32 members of the YCW took part in the bicycle rally, holding placards with their demands and explaining the objectives of the rally and their demands to the public through distributing handbills and holding street corner meetings.

The demands the YCW put forward towards the local, state and central government were the following:

  • Implement the social protection policies and programs for informal workers;
  • Increase the wage of appalam making workers from Rs. 18 to Rs. 30 per kilo;
  • Set up a perfume factory in Dindigul and give jobs to the unemployed;
  • Set up monitoring bodies for the proper implementation of the 100 days job per year program;
  • Increase the salary of workers employed in the 100 days job per year program from Rs. 132 to Rs. 200 per day;
  • Increase the number of 100 days per year to 200 days per year.

At the end of the rally, the YCW leaders met with the district administrator of Nilakottai, presented their demands and asked for a follow-up by the state and central governments.  Representatives of two organisations participated in the rally and supported the demands of YCW. Around 800 workers and people were reached out through this rally.

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