Concern No. 8: The rights of the youth to education and employment
The life-depriving character of imperialism, which the world’s people are plunged into, continuously worsens as the capitalism crisis of overproduction deepens. Exploitation of labor, imperialist plunder and maximization of profit continues wantonly at the expense of the working and oppressed peoples of the world.
In capitalist countries, workers suffer attacks on their rights such as prolonged working hours and cutbacks on wages and benefits, in order for the capitalists to maximize their profit. While in poorer and semi-colonial countries, people are bearing the brunt passed by imperialists through international usury, plunder of the nations’ natural wealth and unequal trade policies. There is an ever-widening gulf between the capitalist countries, which compose the minority of the world, and the semi-colonial countries of the world, which compose the majority.
The imperialist globalization policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation imposed through multilateral agencies like IMF-WB and WTO have aggravated the chronic crisis of semi-colonial countries. They spurn worse poverty and deprivation as these under-developed countries suffer increasing unemployment and underemployment rates, collapse of agriculture due to trade liberalization, and abandonment of national government of the basic social services and welfare of the people. This makes the future of the youth uncertain.
It is the youth, especially from the peasant and working families, who intensely suffer from imperialist attacks and exploitation. The diminishing state subsidy to schools and privatization of education, on top of the intensifying commercialization of tertiary education worsens the youths’ lot. In Indonesia, for example, the concept of “campus autonomy” has forced students to finance their own education instead of having education subsidized. Commercialization has led to rising tuition, cutbacks on classes, and less resources for students while the capitalists continue to profit from the pockets of students.
In underdeveloped countries, the majority of young people cannot reach secondary and tertiary education due to poverty. There are also high dropout rates, which produces a large youth labor reserve used by the capitalists to depress wages and deny job security.
Education has been used as an instrument to preserve the oppressive status quo. In most countries, educational institutions are directly, or indirectly controlled by big capitalist monopolies that exploit the skills and talents of millions of youth and students. Furthermore, curriculum is determined by the current market demand and not by the needs of the people. For example, in Europe, the European Union imposes an Anglo-Saxon educational model– the Bologna Process, on all European countries. They find this type of model more profitable in their competition with other imperialist powers such as the USA and China.
With the de-funding of education, the military has continued its terror on campuses to enforce the capitalist hand over student activities. The military has also used its position on campuses to recruit students to join its rank while conducting surveillance against progressive student organizations.
Many youth are forced to work at an early age at the farms and factories to compensate their families’ income. Worse, many from underdeveloped countries are driven to look for menial, contractual jobs abroad in order for their families to survive. Governments, both sending and receiving, are ensuring the smooth flow of cheap labor through agreements and policies imposed by imperialist institutions like the WTO.
In their host countries, immigrants, migrant youth and undocumented workers experience various types of discrimination and attacks on their democratic rights. In industrialized countries, migrants are exploited through cheap, docile and flexible labor with the capitalists’ continuous drive for profit.
In conclusion with the framework provided above, we reaffirm the following resolutions:
- Fight for the state to give priority to education and stop the privatization of education.
- Fight against campus repression and for academic freedom and students’ rights.
- To struggle for the creation of decent secured jobs and a living wage for all youths
- Advance international cooperation and solidarity among the oppressed and exploited youth of the world in the advancement of their common goals.
In addition, we also resolve to:
- Struggle for education rights and stand against the neo-liberal policies and agreements such as the Bologna process and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS-WTO).
- Strengthen our network by activating the ILPS youth website and utilizing the existing email group as the primary means of communication. The website will be multilingual so that we could communicate effectively and respond to the issues more rapidly.
- Organise the second World Peoples’ Youth Conference by 2010 with a particular youth-related theme.
- Coordinate days of international action and common campaigns in solidarity of youth around the world:
- Anti-G8 Summits protests in Japan, July 2008
- Launching conferences and actions against Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)
- Protest against commercialization of education.
- Conduct studies to deepen our analysis on issues of education, employment and migration in relation to its impact on youth.