Red de Desarrollo Social de América Latina y el Caribe
Plataforma virtual para la difusión de conocimiento sobre desarrollo social

Youth: realities and challenges for achieving development with equality


Autor institucional : CEPAL - División de Desarrollo Social
Autor/Autores: Daniela Trucco y Heidi Ullmann (Eds.)
Fecha de publicación: Marzo 2016
Alcance geográfico: Regional
Publicado en: Chile
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Resumen: After a decade of relative economic boom, Latin America now faces harsher external conditions amid slower growth of the global economy. Accordingly, even more strenuous efforts will be needed to achieve development in a strategic direction through structural change and investment in human capacities. As ECLAC noted (2014) in its discussion on compacts for equality, Latin America s high-productivity segment produces two thirds of the region’s GDP (66.9%), but just under 20% of its employment. Conversely, the less productive sectors employ 50% of workers, but produce just 10% of the region s GDP. Because of this disparity in the contribution each sector makes to output and employment, the distribution of productivity gains between workers is also highly unequal. The region can hardly expect to implant a development pattern geared towards equality while it has a small group of firms or sectors using the latest technology and competing in global markets, alongside the majority of its firms using knowledge-poor technology yet employing most of the workers in the economy. Building the capacities of the new generations is understood to be one of the key pillars for turning this state of affairs around, treating young people as essential agents in the production of structural change. In addition to persistent structural divides, ECLAC has drawn attention to inequalities in capacity-building and the sphere of work, which affect young people in particular and will need to be addressed if progress is to be made along the path of sustainability with equality, on the basis that the position individuals occupy on the social scale is not solely the result of personal circumstances, efforts and decisions. There is a structure of opportunities provided by States, markets, families and communities that are largely beyond the individual’s control and that shape prospects for social mobility and access to well-being. This document addresses the main challenges this important segment of the population faces in relation to development and inclusion in Latin American society, with the intention of contributing to stronger policymaking for youth in the region. It contains the outcomes of several studies conducted in the framework of the project “Social inclusion of youth in the context of increasing violence and insecurity with a focus on Central America”, which was financed by the United Nations Development Account and implemented by ECLAC between 2013 and 2015.



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