Posted on December 09, 2018

The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation, in collaboration with the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social affairs (UN DESA) and the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD), is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on ‘The Role of Families and Family Policy in Supporting Youth Transitions’ to be held from December 11-12, 2018, at the Hilton Hotel, Doha.

The meeting will include panel discussions that bring together international experts to discuss the role of families in supporting youth transitions from school to work and, ultimately, youth employment outcomes in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aims to address the influence of families and factors such as parental occupation, education, and poverty on youth employment and career development. It will also assess how policies can help to reinforce the family’s role in supporting the transition of young people from school to work, through addressing youth employment challenges, and help countries to improve youth outcomes towards achieving youth-related SDGs. Experts in the fields of youth policy, family policy, social policy, social integration, and economics will participate and give their opinions and recommendations.

DIFI’s focus on helping young people navigate the transition to adulthood – particularly in the context of moving from school or university into the workforce – reflects its recognition that the process is often a challenging one. The institute believes that a delayed transition from school to work prevents young people from gaining a sense of independence and affects other pathways to adulthood, including marriage, family formation, and civic participation. Dr. Ignacio Socias, Director of Communications, IFFD, said: “Young people these days are extremely vulnerable. They face high levels of economic and social uncertainty and risk. And all too often their full potential is not developed because they have no access to productive and decent jobs. “That is why the crucial influence of parents and families in their lives is now more important than ever before, and it requires assistance from the rest of social actors. The future of our societies depends on it.”

Renata Kaczmarska, Focal Point on the Family, UN DESA, said: “The UN DESA is pleased to partner with DIFI in convening the Expert Group Meeting on the Role of Families and Family Policy in Supporting Youth Transitions. The expert meeting aims to explore how family policies can contribute to helping youth in their transitions from education to employment and family formation. “The needs of vulnerable youth should be addressed through holistic family-oriented policies. Experts will present research and recommendations on how public policy can best support the achievement of youth-related UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets, and thus contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.”

DIFI is a global policy and advocacy institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families through research and promote evidence-based polices at a national, regional, and international level. The institute has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.