Including youth rights & voices is central to building back better from COVID-19

On 2 November, the Global Initiative for Decent Jobs for Youth together with the ILO PROSPECTS partnership held a session on Youth & COVID-19 during the Youth at Heart Forum organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

The session leveraged the findings of the Global Youth & COVID-19 Survey conducted by partners of Decent Jobs for Youth that show that the pandemic is inflicting multiple shocks on young people - it is not only negatively affecting their jobs and employment prospects, but also disrupting their education and training and having a serious impact on their mental well-being. It featured an inter-generational, tripartite dialogue with young people on the solutions to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and ideas on how we can build back better from the crisis.

ILO DG Guy Ryder delivered opening remarks on the situation of youth employment and COVID-19. Watch his remarks here.

In the ‘road to’ the Youth at Heart Forum, ILO PROSPECTS with support from Decent Jobs for Youth conducted consultations with refugee and host community youth in Kenya, Uganda and Lebanon on the impacts of COVID-19 on their education, employment and lives. The resulting videos and news articles can be found on the Youth at Heart website via the below links:

In the lead up to the Youth at Heart Forum, the Dutch MFA promoted youth-led and youth-informed research that led to the creation of the Youth at Heart Principles Document. It was produced by Restless Development after consulting with 1200 youth in the Middle East and North Africa, with inputs from partners, including the ILO, UNICEF, the EU/AU Youth Hub and Sos Children’s Villages. The principles reflect the ideas of young people on education, work, participation and their role in the COVID-19 response. 

Together with partners, stakeholders and young people, the Forum hosted many different discussions and workshops in which youth played a central role.  Taking away from the Forum, we look forward to working closely with the Dutch government, our partners and most importantly, young people themselves, to ensure they can have opportunities for decent work now and in the future.

Watch the session recording here (play from 02:38:00). Recordings of all the sessions can be found here


  • The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • International Labour Organization

Published Date

04 November 2020