The 2nd ASEAN Youth Social Journalism Contest 2021 is inviting youth “Social Journalists” to submit an essay and campaign ideas describing a theme of “#ASEANYouth and COVID-19 ─ Response, Recovery, and Resilience”. We are inviting the talented ASEAN’s youth to share and promote fact-based and compelling messages showcasing the importance of ASEAN youth at the forefront of efforts to combat the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The COVID-19 global health emergency and its social and economic implications have dramatically affected all facets of life amongst all groups of society. People of all ages, though, are experiencing its impact in a myriad of areas. The Global Survey on Youth and COVID-19 by the International Labour Organization/ILO (2020) indicates the immediate effects of COVID-19 pandemic on young people is systemic, significant and excessive, especially to the young women, younger youth and youth in lower-income countries. For young people and particularly disadvantaged ones, the COVID-19 crisis raises significant risks in the areas of education, job opportunities, mental wellbeing, rights and social activism.
The importance of active participation and integration of the ASEAN youth has been an ASEAN priority since the Declaration of Principles to Strengthen ASEAN Collaboration on Youth presented in Bangkok on 24 June 1983. Youth play a vital role in community building and represent the values envisaged by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN. In particular, ASEAN youth leadership is at the forefront of efforts to combat the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic as young people have a pivotal role to play in limiting the epidemic and alleviating its effects on public health, community and the economy as a whole. They have been responding to the pandemic in a multitude of ways – by serving as health workers and community volunteers, leading public health promotion initiatives, as well as combating the pandemic through artistic, scientific, entrepreneurial, and technological innovations although they are specifically vulnerable to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
ASEAN youth will have to look beyond themselves and work together across borders to build a stronger and more cohesive community of nations in response to the global pandemic.