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‘Youth disillusionment’ seen as top unseen risk in coming years

Young volunteers in the Diocese of Kalookan pose for a picture during a break in preparations of relief goods for distribution to poor communities. (Photo supplied)

The 16th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report have listed “youth disillusionment” as one of the “top blind spots” that could cause significant negative impacts in the coming years.

“Hard-fought societal wins could be obliterated” if not addressed properly, read the report released on Jan. 19.

The report defines youth disillusionment as the young generation’s “disengagement and lack of confidence and/or loss of trust with existing economic, political, and social structures at a global scale.”

It negatively impacts social stability, individual well-being, and economic productivity, said the report.

The report described young people age 15 to 24 as “Pandemials” or “Youth in an Age of Lost Opportunity,” who are experiencing a second major global crisis within the decade.

“They will face serious challenges to their education, economic prospects, and mental health,” said the report.

The report also indicated that the outlook for this generation “had already been diminished by environmental degradation, rising inequality, varying degrees of violence, and social disruption from the tech-enabled industrial transformation.”
The United Nations estimated that there were some 1.21 billion young people between 15 and 24 years of age, which accounted for 15.5 percent of the global population.

The Global Risks Report said that while the digital leap forward unlocked opportunities for some youth, many are now entering the workforce in “an employment ice age.”

The pandemic “aggravated youth inequalities” that are evident in access to education, health systems, social security, and protection from violence and conflict.

The report said about “80 percent of students globally were out of school, as traditional classroom teaching was rendered mute” during the first wave of the pandemic.

It warned that limited economic and educational prospects are likely “to exacerbate youth frustrations,” adding that rising mental health problems among the youth need to be addressed.

The report said governments and people in power must “steward a global effort” to open pathways for youth to acquire the necessary tools, skills, and rights for a more sustainable post-pandemic world. -


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.