Rural Youth and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Around one in five of the world’s youth are not in employment, education or training with young women outnumbering young men two to one. Furthermore, the youth unemployment rates are about three times as high as those of adults (ILO, 2019). The COVID-19 crisis will increase this already tough scenario and intensify their unemployment rates and possibly their labor market vulnerabilities. The youth cohort aged 15-17, may experience heightened barriers to prepare and access decent employment opportunities with the current crisis and be more vulnerable to child labor if exposed to hazardous work as a negative coping mechanism. Overall, young people represent a large majority of the workforce in the informal sector and therefore may not be able to access COVID-19 social protection measures put in place by countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all parts of society and livelihoods around the globe. It is though worth recognizing that disadvantaged segments of populations like rural young women and men will be impacted harder, nevertheless, when proactively engaged, they have demonstrated to be innovators in their own sectors to surmount the pandemic impact.