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Today, throughout Europe we celebrate on the 7th of October, the International Day of Decent Work. Every day, young people are faced with situations of unemployment, precarious working contracts, job instability, cash in hand jobs without contracts, low wages, undue pressures from employers, lose of rights and harmful working conditions. These situations offend the dignity of the young and do not allow them to face their future with confidence. Frustration exists; the young people don’t feel that their contribution is valued and this is reflected in not only their work but also in amongst their families, friends and neighbourhoods.
The new generation of young workers, are human beings with dignity and they have a right to a better life. They cannot just be discarded in order to earn better profits. Europe cannot run the risk of losing the immense skills and potential that young workers possess by destroying hope, willing and initiative. Young people need chances, autonomy, emancipation and relevant qualifications so that the development and growth of societies are guaranteed.
In this context, the fight for decent work is essential to construct a just Europe so everyone can live in solidarity with each other. Each young worker must be aware of his dignity and realise the importance of preserving it. In order to share in this reality we must gather together all the workers, especially all our young work colleagues to fight for the good of everybody.
The ICYCW International President and the International Chaplain attended the “Congress of Lay Catholics in Asia” in Seoul, South Korea, from 31 August to 5 September 2010.
This congress was organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, in close collaboration with the Episcopal Commission for the Laity of the Korean Bishops’ Conference and the National Council of Laity in that country.