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International Youth Day: 'How to stop the world’s 3.1 billion young people being left behind'
Jo Boyden, director of Young Lives at ODID, has written a post for The Conversation ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August that explores the continuing barriers to progress for the world's disadvantaged young people.
In 'How to stop the world's 3.1 billion young people being left behind', Professor Boyden says that 'radical action is needed to help disadvantaged young people around the world fulfil their hopes'.
Young Lives have been following 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam since 2001. While their research has shown improvements since the start of the study – for example in increased school enrolment – poverty continues to make a huge difference to children's lives from the moment they are born.
She highlights stunting, lack of access to safe water and sanitation, and the risk of leaving school early as particular problems. She also cites the need to create decent jobs to satisfy the ambition young people already manifest, and to ensure such jobs are genuinely accessible to them.
She also highlighted the importance of addressing the needs of young women – for safety, childcare support, access to jobs and empowerment.