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TIC Americas 2012 Winners at the ILO Youth Employment Forum
Geneva, Switzerland
Lauren Díaz, Nueva Oportunidad; Valerie Lorena, Executive Director YABT; Raynard Burnside, Siphiwe Honey Gold Farm and Preserve
ILO organized The Youth Employment Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23- 25; previous to the 101st International Labor Conference. This event brought together more than 100 young people, including Lauren Diaz and Raynard Burnside, TIC Americas 2012 winners, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and entrepreneurs who shared their ideas on how to tackle youth unemployment.

The winning teams of Nueva Oportunidad and Siphiwe Gold Honey Farm and Preserve, were part of this forum, thanks to the international visibility obtained in TIC Americas 2012 in addition to the follow up opportunities offered by the Young American Business Trust. Lauren and Raynard, represented young entrepreneurs and attended this forum with two clear objectives: to propose social entrepreneurship as viable solutions to the problems of youth unemployment and the need to link to vulnerable populations to Decent Work policies.

The three-day event was organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which indicated that youth unemployment has reached record levels in many countries. Of the total number of unemployed worldwide, approximately 75 million, or 40 percent, are young. In addition 152 million youth live on less than $ 1.25 a day.

In response to this situation, the International Labor Organization took on the task to end youth unemployment and create real employment options for young people. To meet this challenge they called up young people around the world to discuss and seek viable solutions to this problem. The participants developed proposals and formal strategies that were presented to nearly 5000 delegates from 58 countries.

"The First Forum on Youth Employment is a triumph for the youth of the world; for the first time in history the states heard our aspiration for a job, but above all we deserve a decent job." Lauren stated of her experience at the event.

The proposals were varied: promotion of entrepreneurship, rural development, gender equality, improvement of internship policies, and creation of a youth consultative entity, among others. The conference covered the six main themes related to youth unemployment: education, entrepreneurship, quality of rights, participation, empowerment and employment. Furthermore, young entrepreneurs from Jordan, Peru, India, Turkey and Zimbabwe presented best practices in the area of ​​youth employment. In addition, international organizations such as United Nations entities, youth organizations and the ILO, shared information on innovative approaches in the area of ​​youth employment.

Based on the three-day Forum, a summary of key issues and ideas was prepared to be shared through an informal presentation to the Committee on Youth Employment of the International Labor Conference.

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