One of the challenges, not only in Asia but also in Europe and around the world, is how to get youth involved in social movements and prioritized by policies and social protection. At the beginning of 2012, the world population surpassed 7 billion with people under the age of 30 accounting for more than half of this number (50.5%). According to a UNESCO survey, 89.7% of people under 30 lived in emerging and developing economies. But to which extent are they involved in the political choices of the societies they live in, have access to decent jobs and decent wages, and how much of a priority are youth for politicians? Most youth and especially young workers are excluded and ignored, very often working in the informal sector or leaving the country as migrant workers, and so they fall outside of the regulations and labour laws.

This is the topic some of the WSM partners discuss currently in Hong Kong, during a seminar conducted by the Young Christian Workers movement, where both the national YCW movements, meet with some of WSM trade union partners.

It is organized by the regional secretariat from YCW Asia and Pacific, and had input and facilitation from WSM, the International YCW, IMA and AMRC. One of the suggestion that came out of the workshop was to consider youth as a crosscutting issue, same as gender and environment, an angle that should be examined for each topic discussed. When we look at social protection, migration but also aspects from the organisations, like leadership or capacity strengthening, we should each time ask ourselves the question to which extent youth are affected and involved.

The meeting also offered the opportunity to explore some of the labour issues in Hong Kong, and field visits were done, first to KUCE place, in which IMA functions and where there was an interaction with some of the migrant workers. Participants also posed for a picture for online protest against the forest fires in Indonesia and the subsequent haze, which is causing air pollution and victims in the region. Sunday, Victoria Park in central Hong Kong was visited, where Indonesian migrant workers, mostly domestic workers, gather to share meals, perform dances and cultural events, and in general have fun and organize.

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