The statement was made by Keyla Estevez, director of the Center for Youth Studies (CESJ) in Cuba, when she inaugurated the event, which has brought together some 1,000 delegates from 13 countries from Tuesday to Thursday at Havana’s Convention Center.
The meeting aims to establish frank and open dialogue between the academia and decision-makers for the collective construction of knowledge and recommendations for children and youths, the researcher said.
In that regard, she referred to the context in which the Congress is taking place, in a world hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which amplified inequalities, modified educational systems, generated job uncertainty and the impossibility of relating with people, greater use of social networks and situations of abuse and mistreatment of children.
In Cuba’s case, the event is framed in the midst of huge socio-demographic challenges, the result is that there are “fewer and fewer young people,” so they should be the target of differentiated attention and more efficient performance of institutions, she remarked.
According to the CESJ director, it is necessary that young people find a life project in the country and provide them with opportunities for the development of their capabilities to the maximum, as well as their participation in the economic, political and social processes of the nation.
The debates on topics such as education, labor insertion, demography, addictions, health care, construction of protective spaces of non-violence, youth policies, food sovereignty, use of the spare time and technologies, cultural training and identity and social prevention will be aimed at this endeavor during these days.
Estevez urged to use more participatory and inclusive methodologies in research and to invest in the “happiness and joy” of children and youths as an “irreversible need”.
The International Congress on Childhood, Adolescence and Youth in Cuba is taking place a few days before the commemoration next Monday of the anniversary of the Young Communist League (UJC) and the Jose Marti Pioneers Organization, the specialist recalled, adding that science is an essential task for these organizations.