education, work, and the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and
youth contribute to their human development and autonomy, and guarantee that
they will have their own resources and pensions for old age. In Latin America
and the Caribbean 100 million adolescents aged 10 to 19 years demand schools
and teachers in secondary education, employment and health services. This work
describes and analyses the situation of adolescents and youths in these three
areas of interest, as a basis for defining priorities and the integration of
policies oriented to take advantage of the demographic bonus and to enhance the
sustainability of future dignified ageing for youth generations. Since Latin
America and the Caribbean is the region with the highest inequality rates in
the world, investing in demographic dividend can also contribute to decreasing
inequalities in the long term. Secondary data from censuses, surveys and
international organizations are analysed to relate to the three relevant issues
of interest. Most than half of teens in Central America, and between 20% and 40% of adolescents in South America leave school before completing
secondary level education and most of them receive poor quality education, 20%
of them do not study or work and some are trapped in a triad of problems: the
secondary school dropout, unemployment, informal and unprotected work and
adolescent pregnancy. Despite the decline in adolescent fertility rates, they
continue to be up to seven times higher among the less educated. Unemployment
rates are three times higher for young people than for adults, half of them
work in informal and low skilled jobs. The relationship between health,
education, employment, poverty and inequalities demonstrates the need to
strengthen and integrate policies of inclusion at school and at work, as well
as special protection and social security for adolescents and youth.
Cite this paper
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