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New regional youth executive eyes economic empowerment at summit

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Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2020. 7:31 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Caribbean Regional Youth Council

By Aaron Humes: The Sixth Caribbean Youth Leaders’ Summit was held toward the end of last week from January 21 – 23 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, under the theme of “Promoting Youth Economic Empowerment for Sustainable Caribbean Development.”

One-hundred-and-fifty youth and 50 other delegates from the region’s various youth council and other stakeholders met to elect a new executive and state the key priorities for youth economic empowerment.

The Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) says it “has committed to working with stakeholders to create an environment that supports the implementation of the recommendations.”

The “Port of Spain Statement” lists five key priority areas: increased access to economic opportunities for boys, girls, young men and young women, particularly those with disabilities in vulnerable and volatile communities, rural areas and other young people living in poverty, for their social protection, decent work and economic participation; increasing employment and employability and tackling youth unemployment and underemployment; eliminating discrimination and corruption in recruitment; increasing youth capital and services and youth participation in economic policymaking.

It recommends the following:
1. Establish partnerships with youth-led and youth-serving organizations to raise awareness of youth rights to decent work and employment opportunities.
2. Advocate for decent work, social protection and removal of discriminatory and corrupt practices related to young people’s economic participation.
3. Engage with research partners to identify the employment and employability needs of young people with disabilities, those living in poverty and in vulnerable and volatile communities and in rural areas; and promote actions to support their full participation in labour markets.
4. Encourage governments to work towards establishing regulations for fair and transparent recruitment and ethical human resource practices aligned to ILO Convention on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation).
5. Advocate, in partnership with NGOs, private sector and international development partners, for governments to provide access to pro-youth capital opportunities and incentives for enterprise development including social enterprise, creation of safe zones for marginalized groups and; to promote financial inclusion and financial literacy of youth, in partnership with national youth councils, youth-serving organizations and educational institutions.
6. Enhance access to ICTs for young people in their communities as a tool for training, entrepreneurship and other avenues of employment.
7. Engage with partners to ensure youth participation at all levels of decision-making for youth economic participation and for fostering positive social change and creating sustainable societies.

Its new executive, elected through 2022, is chaired by Roshanna Trim from Barbados, the first female and first Barbadian chairperson elected. Vice-Chairs hail from St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla, with two other board members from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Belize previously had representation on the executive in the form of Kristin Marin, vice-chair for members and partnerships.

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