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Focus: GS-II Social Justice

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Half of the world’s youth population is subject to anxiety or depression-causing circumstances and more than a third are uncertain of their future career prospects due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO).


  • The ILO’s ‘Youth and Covid-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being’ survey found that if urgent action is not taken, youths are at the risk of suffering severe and long-lasting adverse impacts from the pandemic.
  • The ILO survey aimed to capture the immediate effects of the pandemic on the lives of youths (aged 18 to 29 years) with regard to employment, education, mental health, rights and social activism.
  • The survey found that one in two (i.e., 50 per cent) young people across the world are possibly subject to anxiety or depression, while 17 per cent are probably affected by it.
  • Severe disruption to learning and working, compounded by the health crisis, has seen a deterioration in young people’s mental well-being.
  • Mental well-being is lowest for young women and younger youths between the ages of 18 and 24 years
  • Young people whose education or work was either disrupted or had stopped completely were almost twice as likely to be affected by anxiety or depression as compared to those who continued to be employed or whose education was not affected.
  • According to the report, 38 per cent of young people are uncertain of their future career prospects, with the Covid-19 crisis expected to create more obstacles in the labour market and to lengthen the transition from school to work.
  • The ILO survey said some youths have already felt the direct impact of the pandemic, with one in six youths having to stop work since the virus outbreak.
  • The report said 73 per cent of the young people, who were either studying or combining study and work before the onset of the crisis, experienced school closures though all of them were not able to transition into online and distance learning.
  • The coronavirus has left one in eight young people (13 per cent) without any access to courses, teaching or training — a situation particularly acute among the youth in low-income countries and one that serves to underline the sharp digital divide that exists between regions.
  • According to the survey, a quarter of the young people have done some kind of volunteer work during the pandemic.
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-Source: Business Standard

June 2024