The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) formed the Youth Network in 2003 to give advice, help and representation to the cooperative youth movement.
The ICA General Assembly on 29 June 2021 approved the creation of a Thematic Committee on Youth to be known as the ICA Youth Committee. This was in response to the 2019 resolution to the ICA General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, which, among other things, called on the ICA to amend Article 35 of the ICA Bylaws to create a new Thematic Committee on Youth, to strengthen, better serve and represent youth cooperators at the ICA.
Young people are the leaders of tomorrow – but they are also leaders, organisers, carers, workers and thinkers today and need to be involved in shaping policies that affect them – today AND tomorrow. The cooperative movement offers young people opportunities to learn, to meet, to find ways to work together to protect and defend their social, political and economic rights.
The Youth Network’s role in this is to bring together young people from different regions to share ideas. Young people come from a wide range of situations but have the same needs – tools to develop projects, opportunities to work and learn, a forum to debate and propose different views about how cooperatives can organize, improve lives and transform communities.