The rights of the youth to education and employment

Resolution of the Youth Commission

Like a prairie fire, unrest is spreading at an intensifying and wider scale in the world in the era of another “Great Depression”. It has created unrest that has also sparked unprecedented resistance among the toiling masses and the people of the world.  

Huge bail-outs to save big businesses, which have resulted in so-called “austerity measures” that have been imposed upon the people, have been revealed to be part of imperialist-instigated schemes of governments. 

Last year, the United Nations declared 2011 as the “World Year of the Youth”, to propel the realization of the much-touted Millennium Development Goals 2015. In spite of this, the year 2011 opened with the highest recorded world youth unemployment in history at 88 million. This fact unmasks the declaration as a ploy of imperialist nations to hide the deepening of neoliberal policies around the world.

The people’s right to education is systematically trampled by governments’ austerity measures. Private schools freely impose higher tuition and exorbitant fees. This is also true for state universities and colleges as their budgets receive huge slashes. This clearly translates to commercialization of education and, subsequently, the denial of access to education to a majority of worldwide youth. In order to maintain such commercialization, we have also seen the spread of repressive policies, such as school militarization and the suppression of pro-people, historically accurate curriculum. Education is not responding to the needs of the people, but instead to the interests of imperialists.

In underdeveloped countries, millions of youth cannot even finish basic education, and they end up in menial jobs without security. Unemployment continues to soar, with rates particularly high amongst the youth. They are being used as a buffer by capitalists to uphold workers’ rights violations and to keep wages to a minimum, in some cases inhumanely low.

These attacks on our right to education and employment are not separate from the blows to the gains of working-class; cuts to social and public services and massive lay-offs. Peoples of color, immigrant communities and migrants’ welfare have also been attacked. Their living and working conditions have worsened as prices soar and wages remain stunted and depreciated. These circumstances have bred the increasing social disenfranchisement of the youth.

Globalization policies of liberalization, denationalization, deregulation and privatization remain to be the mantra of the imperialists. They impose “free-trade” agreements and impositions by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; they safeguard these policies by installing puppet regimes in neo-colonies and/or through imperialist military domination and war-mongering. Now, this is happening not only in semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, but even in capitalist countries like Portugal, Italy, and Greece.

The plague brought by “war on terror”, plunder, and imperialist and neo-colonial governments’ exploitation and deception of the people are fully unmasked. This has sparked the resistance of the youth in different regions and countries through mass protests, strikes, and other forms of struggle. 

The youth incessantly challenge the imperialist colonization of culture that has bred counter-revolutionary ideals such as individualism, racism, xenophobia, pessimism, and reactionary and anti-communist hysteria. This is sharply manifested in peoples’ solidarity and collective actions against imperialist attacks and its servile puppets. The youth, for example, have been a significant and vibrant force in the recent upheavals of the people of Tunisia, Egypt and other countries in West Asia and North Africa–as well as people’s resistance in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America against austerity measures and pro-imperialist policies.

In engaging in such forms of resistance, the youth have also grasped the importance of integration with the working class and the broad masses. As young people from the oppressed classes and nations, there is a clear need to forge a higher unity. As the youth and the future, our fight for the right to education, employment, public welfare, democratic and civil rights must be linked with the struggles of the basic masses.

We must expand and strengthen our youth formations, founded upon our principal call to “Serve the People.” We must arouse, organize, and mobilize in the schools, the streets, factories, urban poor communities, farming communities, and workplaces. We should translate our aspirations for a better future by strengthening our determination into international solidarity through concrete political actions against all the forms and manifestations of imperialism. We need to intensify our struggles to bring about a more just, democratic, equal society free from imperialist exploitation and destruction.

Thus, guided with the analyses aforementioned, we reaffirm the following resolutions:

Arouse, organize and mobilize the most number of youth to:

  1. Struggle for a mass-oriented, scientific, anti-imperialist, and accessible education:

    1. Struggle for our right to education and stand against the neoliberal policies, agreements, and “austerity measures” by anti-people governments;

    2. Fight for greater state subsidy, for budget prioritization to education, and to stop the privatization of education;

  2. Fight against campus repression and for academic freedom and other students democratic rights;

  3. Struggle for the creation of decent secured jobs for all youth and broad masses and against the attacks on workers’ rights–including lay-offs, contractualization, and labor trafficking;

  4. Advance international cooperation and solidarity among the oppressed and exploited youth of the world against imperialist oppression;

  5. Build the solid strength of youth through formation and strengthening anti-imperialist youth organizations, to carry on campaigns and struggle against imperialist policies;

  6. Promote and further develop a progressive people’s culture, especially amongst youth;

  7. Propagate the alternatives to imperialism and the capitalist system, in the context of the larger demand for a just and humane society for all.

In addition, we also resolve to:

  1. Organize the 2nd World Peoples’ Youth Conference by 2013, with the theme underscoring the youth’s struggles against the onslaught of the current imperialist crisis and youth’s role in the anti-imperialist struggles;

  2. Extend solidarity and outreach to youth groups in all global regions;

  3. Strengthen our network by activating the ILPS youth website and utilizing the existing email group as the primary means of communication;

  4. Coordinate days of international action and common campaigns in solidarity of youth around the world:

    1. Internationally coordinate annual actions/protest on International Students Day on November 17 and UN-declared World Youth Day on August 22;

    2. Release statements of solidarity to youth groups with common campaigns and struggles;

    3. Mobilize, hold actions, and facilitate educational discussions on International Workers Day on May 1, International Women’s Day on March 8, and International Migrants Day on December 19; and

  5. Conduct and disseminate studies to deepen our analysis on the issues of education, employment and migration to counter manipulative imperialist propaganda.

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