Resolution on Concern 8: Rights of the youth to education and employment

For almost four decades, imperialist powers have imposed policies of neoliberal globalization on the workers and people of the world. Their objectives have remained the same which is to exploit the cheap labor,

plunder the natural resources, and capture the markets of neo-colonies to rapidly accumulate super profit.

The neoliberal offensive led by the US and other imperialist powers has intensified the exploitation and oppression of the people. There is growing mass unemployment, falling wages, poverty, and hunger on a global scale. Conditions of the working class and people in neo-colonies as well as those in advanced capitalist countries will worsen further with the continued of-fensive of imperialist globalization.

The youth of the world, in particular, have been feeling the brunt of the neoliberal offensive in education. Neoliberal education policies have sys-tematically attacked the youth’s right to free and quality public education. It has left some 58 million children of primary-school age and 63 million ado-lescents of secondary-school age out of school. Even UNICEF has already admitted that, at current rates, it would take another 200 years to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Target 2A.

US-controlled International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), and other imperialist-dominated agencies have aggressively imposed neoliberal policies of privatization, commercializa-tion and deregulation in education. These in turn are being implemented by neocolonial or puppet governments.

On a worldwide scale, governments have privatized education and exercised deregulation or decontrol of tuition and other school fees; thereby securing mounting profits for capitalist-educators from annually increasing and sky-rocketing education costs. In line with the policy of commercializing educa-tion, governments are also implementing cutbacks on public spending for education and World Bank-dictated student loans and socialized tuition fee schemes.

Governments of neo-colonies are likewise re-gearing their educational system and deemphasizing pa-triotic education to supply the cheap, semi- skilled and docile labor needs of global capitalism. Student protests against neoliberal education policies are hosed down with outright fascist re-pression and gross violations of demo-cratic rights.

The youth around the world are also facing a worsening employment crisis. Conservative estimates peg worldwide unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 years old at 13 percent, or 74 million youth, and is set to rise further. Youth unemployment rate was reportedly almost 3 times higher than the global unemployment rate in 2014.

In the developed capitalist countries, joblessness among the youth was espe-cially high in Europe, with rates of up to 52 percent in Greece and Spain. Youth unemployment is likewise expected to increase by up to 8 percent in parts of Europe, South America and Africa between 2014 and 2019. Historic joblessness among young people force them to take menial jobs, further driv-ing wages down.

Wages have been falling despite rising productivity and steadily soaring wealth for the richest. Billions of people around the world can be considered as poor, whereas hundreds of millions experience hunger. Currently, the world’s richest 80 people have the same wealth as the bottom half of the global population. It is expected that the top 1 percent of the world population will have more wealth than the 99 percent by 2016.

These outcomes of the crisis of global capitalism—severe unemployment, poverty, hunger and gross inequality on one hand and a tidal wave of wealth for the richest on another—underscore the intrinsic inequity and social irra-tionality of the world capitalist system. The US and other imperialist pow-ers continue to impose neoliberal globalization policies of trade and invest-ment liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization by in-stalling puppet regimes in neo-colonies and carry out political interventions in domestic affairs, outright political repression, and military aggression and war-mongering.

The bankruptcy of the global capitalist system and its severe effects on the youth and people of the world have spurred protests, social movements and mass struggles against neoliberalism and imperialism. The youth, in particu-lar, have been a significant and vibrant force in the people’s resistance in the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America as well as in Europe and North America.

We are calling on the youth from oppressed classes and nations all over the world to oppose and struggle against the neoliberal offensive in education and to fight for a patriotic, scientific and mass-oriented education. Our struggle for free education and employment should be linked with the struggle of the working class and exploited and oppressed people for national independence, democracy and genuine socio-economic development based on justice.

Among the tasks of the youth and student movement around the world are to arouse, organize and mobilize the broadest number of youth in schools, work-places, factories, urban poor and peasant communities; we should go deeply among the toiling masses of workers and peasants; we should reach out to our compatriots studying abroad; and forge solidarity and strengthen ties with our counterparts in the global anti-imperialist youth and student move-ment. The youth, both in the imperialist heartlands and in the neo-colonies, should take the road of militant struggle and fight for national and social liberation against imperialism and all reaction.

Based on the aforementioned, we firmly resolve to:

Arouse, organize and mobilize the broadest number of youth and students to:

1. In the oppressed countries, fight the neoliberal offensive in education and struggle for a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education:

a. Oppose the privatization and deregulation of education; stop tuition and other school fees increases;

b. Struggle against the commercialization of education; fight for free public education at all levels;

c. Fight against neoliberal school reforms that deemphasize patriotic edu-cation, consciousness and culture;

2. Uphold democratic rights (rights to peaceable assembly, organization and freedom of expression, etc.), denounce and fight political repression against the youth, especially the youth of color (harassment, intimida-tion, surveillance, etc.);

3. Struggle for higher wages and decent and secure jobs for the youth and workers; fight attacks on workers’ rights and schemes to depress wages (contractualization and labor flexibilization, lay-offs, labor trafficking, union-busting, etc.);

4. Advance international cooperation and solidarity among the youth of ex-ploited and oppressed classes and nations against imperialist exploita-tion and oppression;

5. Build the solid strength of the global youth and student movement through the formation and strengthening of anti-imperialist youth and student or-ganizations and the conduct of mass campaigns and struggle against the neoliberal offensive in education and neoliberal globalization, in gen-eral;

6. In oppressed countries, promote and further develop a nationalist, scien-tific and mass-oriented culture especially among the youth and students and actively combat the prevailing imperialist, feudal and anti-people culture and counterrevolutionary trends;

7. Propagate the alternative to imperialism and the global capitalist system and the people’s struggle for national and social liberation.

In addition, we resolve to:

1. Coordinate common mass campaigns and struggles and days of interna-tional actions in solidarity with the youth and students all over the globe:

  • a. Hold internationally coordinated mass actions/protests during the In-ternational Students Day (November 17) and UN-declared International Youth Day (August 12);
  • b. Mobilize the broadest number of youth and students during the Interna-tional Labor Day (May 1), International Women’s Day (March 8), and International Migrants Day (December 19);
  • c. Hold internationally coordinated mass actions/protests and activities in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Students Strikes, Global Day of Action for Palestine (November 29), Global Week of Action for Mindanao (November 22-December 10, 2016), and World Food Day (October 16);
  • d. Issue statements of solidarity to youth and student groups with com-mon mass campaigns and struggles;

2. Expand the youth membership of the ILPS by extending solidarity and outreach to youth and student groups in various regions of the world;

3. Do research work, conduct and disseminate studies/reports which deepen our analysis of the situation of the youth and students all over the globe:

  • a. Education, employment and migration situations among the youth;
  • b. Situation of the peasant and indigenous youth;
  • c. Student democratic rights violations and political repression (harass-ment, intimidation, surveillance, etc.);

4. Strengthen the coordination of the ILPS Youth Commission by utilizing all available means of communication as well as our networking by acti-vating the ILPS Youth Commission website and social media.

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