By Emeritus Professor Robyn Broadbent
The Commonwealth Youth Program recently released the 2020 Youth Development Index. This is the third Youth Development Index and is the only one of its kind that seeks to interrogate the progress of young people across the globe using key indicators such as health, employment and civic participation.
Whilst overall, the index shows advances in youth’s participation in peace processes and their education, employment, inclusion and health care since 2010. It also provides a stark contrast to those young people in countries where their scores have gone backwards evidencing a downward trend in their opportunities, health and well-being. It is also notable on this terrible day where Afghanistan has lost its way to a brutal, patriarchal regime that up until 2020 Afghanistan had made the largest progress in the key indicators lifting their score by 15%. The YDI will now stand as a testament to that history. Nevertheless, improvement in other countries is to be celebrated as this is all about young people.
It is important to note that Australia is 56 and 61 in the employment and health and wellbeing indexes.
For many young people, Australia doesn’t feel so lucky when their health and employment opportunities are so compromised. Youth Workers around Australia can add testament to the toll that poor access to mental health services and barriers to meaningful and stable employment has on so many. The index uses evidence collected before the pandemic. For Australian young people, the results in 2021 will be far worse. This puts a spotlight on the role of Youth Work in every community to enable and support young people in this global pandemic.
To see more of the global youth development index see here!