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Youth: Realities and Challenges for Achieving Development with Equality

image of Youth: Realities and Challenges for Achieving Development with Equality
This book offers a portrayal of the opportunities for social inclusion afforded to young people in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a view to building stronger youth policies in the region. The youth population must be included in development processes if progress is to be made towards more egalitarian societies because of what they mean in relation to dependency rates and the needs and issues particular to this stage of life. ECLAC construes the process of inclusion in society from a rights based perspective that transcends the basic pillars of education and employment to encompass other dimensions of social inclusion that are crucial for young people to progress not only in the objective parameters of inclusion, but also in subjective ones, so that they can feel part of a society they help to build. It examines education and the transition towards employment, access to health and important health-related considerations for this age group, the increasingly violent contexts facing youth, the cultural sphere —with particular attention to digital culture— and political participation by young people, all from the perspective of coordinated sectoral policies.

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The master key to the social inclusion of young people: Education and employment

The concept of equality as defined by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) encompasses much more than simply income distribution; it also refers to equality of opportunity, equality of the capacity to take advantage of opportunities, and equality in capacity-building. Thus, equality is manifested in the full exercise of citizenship, dignity and reciprocal recognition. In order for progress to be made in this sphere, policies are needed that will foster autonomy while helping to shield young people from factors that engender vulnerability. ECLAC therefore sees equality as the horizon, structural change as the path and policy as the toolkit (ECLAC, 2010a, 2012a and 2014a).

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