Rising youth population seen as a major global threat

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said rising population of youth can become a global threat to political and economic stability if not tackled properly.

The situation would be critical in the developing countries housing 85 percent of the world’s young population, it said.

Unemployment has steadily been increasing in the young pushing them to crimes, extremism, illicit activities and narcotics which has a destabilising effect on societies and economies, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said governments and the private sector are not discharging their responsibilities to change the lives of those forced to live on the margins of society which is unfortunate.

He said almost half of the global population is under 25, with 1.3 billion people are between the ages of 12 and 24 while most of them lack job or business opportunities.

He said, cities would become dens of crimes if policy measures were not taken immediately as global population will be 9.6 billion by 2050 with 70 percent people living in cities. There were only 80 cities in the world with population over one million in 1950 while today the number is swelled to 480, he said.

Today, he said 70 percent population living in slums is below the age of 30 which finds no opportunity to come out of abject poverty. According to ILO, 23 per cent of the employed youth gets less than one dollar a day inadequate to meet their basic requirements.

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that youth are facing daunting economic and social challenges, including social exclusion, lack of economic opportunities, and limited access to resources which is frustrating them.

He said youth should be provided education, training, employment and business opportunities to bring them into mainstream otherwise they would try other ways which would be devastating for economy and society. Governments and the private sector has the ability to transform threat into opportunity, Dr Mughal concluded.

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