The first and second Ibero-American Youth Reports, presented jointly by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Ibero-American Youth Organization (OIJ) in 2004 and 2008, respectively, paved the way for visions, analysis and policies concerning youth in the region by providing updated data and detailed policy proposals in various areas of young people’s lives, including education, employment, migration, sexuality and reproductive health, the family, drug abuse, victimization and violence, risk, time use and cultural identities and social and political participation. The reports were able to identify youth profiles within these categories, which made it possible to differentiate youth groups by gender, socioeconomic status and age subgroups. The most recent Ibero-American Youth Report (2014) and the regional report published jointly with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2012 have helped deepen analysis into public investment in youth.
These reports have played an important role in raising awareness in the region of the contradictions, tensions and paradoxes faced by young people in terms of social inclusion —i.e. in terms of playing a full and active part in productive, cultural and political life, and feeling a sense of belonging to a democratic society in conditions of equality. As noted in the aforementioned reports, the social inclusion of young people rests on two main pillars: capacity-building (chiefly, although not exclusively, by means of formal education) and access to productive opportunities, especially through employment. Today, however, particularly for young people, communication networks have emerged as a new tool for social inclusion, by broadening opportunities to interact, affirm identities, generate social capital and acquire information and knowledge.
Building on these reports, ECLAC has maintained its leading role as an author of documents and statistical information on key indicators of social inclusion and youth development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which are disseminated by the JUVeLAC Youth Observatory. The Social Development Division of ECLAC also provides government bodies in the region with technical assistance in policymaking and advocacy of youth rights.
ECLAC offers this assistance in partnership with other multilateral institutions working in this field, as an active participant in United Nations inter-agency groups working on youth issues (at the regional and global levels), and in collaboration with OIJ.