Event Date: 2022-01-24
Target Audience: Students, Everyone
Subject: Study, Science, Professional Development
Location: Online from Paris, France



Addressing the impact of COVID-19 on Youth

The UNESCO Youth as Researchers (YAR) Policy Conference on COVID-19, on 24 January, will serve as a complement and follow-up to the YAR Knowledge-Sharing Meeting (held in October 2021). The conference will serve as an opportunity for the YAR participants, along with Heads of State and Ministers responsible for youth, to discuss priority commitments and policy solutions that respond to the ways that COVID-19 has impacted youth. The Conference will take place in a hybrid format, both virtually and on-site. Ultimately, the Conference aims to launch a multi-stakeholder global coalition to address the impact of the pandemic on youth and to secure tangible commitments to a Global Grant Scheme to sustainably support youth-led research and youth-led solutions to the crisis.

Over 16 months, 34 youth-led research teams have been conducting research with youth to explore the impact of the pandemic on them: from mental health to human rights; from learning to livelihoods; and from youth-led action to the role of technology, the YAR has been yielding findings on those aspects of the lives of youth that have been significantly affected. These were presented, at a preliminary stage, during the YAR Knowledge Sharing Meeting (5-7 October 2021) where the young researchers were able to debate and fine-tune their work through exchanges with technical and policy experts from government, academia, civil society and the UN System.

The UNESCO Youth as Researchers (YAR) Policy Conference on COVID-19 will provide a safe space for dialogue between young researchers and Heads of State and Ministers responsible for youth. It will be informed by a set of pragmatic and actionable policy recommendations that stem from the youth-led research and the YAR Knowledge-Sharing meeting. These will be the basis for dialogue and for determining priority commitments to be pursued further, both nationally and internationally, to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on and with youth.

After this conference, UNESCO aims to establish a Global Grant Scheme to promote, strengthen and scale-up youth-led initiatives with social impact for post-pandemic recovery. It would provide support for two main categories of youth-led initiatives: youth-led research and youth-led grassroots actions.

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