The deadly legacy of unemployment: Lack of jobs is one of the biggest drivers of terrorism and extremism, UN says
High unemployment and a lack of opportunities for young people can be a massive drag on economies, but it’s also one of the biggest recruitment drivers for extremist and terrorist groups, a new report has found.카지노사이트
Even before COVID-19, global youth had it harder than anyone else when it came to finding a job, with as many as 20% of 15- to 24-year-olds in an average developing country being neither employed nor in school in 2019, according to the IMF. In 2015, the World Bank forecast that while 1 billion young people would enter the labor market in the next decade, fewer than half would be successful.
It turns out that having few chances to find a job and secure a livelihood is also the biggest reason people decide to join extremist groups, according to a new report by the UN Development Program.
The report, released Tuesday, found that a lack of employment opportunities is the most common reason for joining an extremist organization, informing 25% of enlistment decisions. The second-most-common was to follow friends or family, at 22%, followed by shared religious ideals, with 17%.
The UN conducted around 2,200 interviews with recruits and former members of extremist organizations across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan. Women accounted for about one-fourth of the total.
“In many countries, where the lack of income, the lack of job opportunities and livelihoods, desperation is essentially pushing people to take up opportunities with whoever offers them,” UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said in a video statement Tuesday.
Terrorism’s unemployment risk
One of the few bright spots to have emerged from the pandemic was a decline in terrorist activity worldwide. Deaths as a result of terrorist attacks decreased 1.2% in 2021 while the number of terror-free countries was the highest it had been since 2007, according to last year’s Global Terrorism Index, a terrorism tracker published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a think tank.
But those gains may be reversed if high unemployment continues to drive recruits into extremist groups’ arms, as global jobless levels soared over the past few years, especially among youth.
The pandemic and sluggish economies in the developing world supercharged unemployment among young people, with the share of unoccupied youth surpassing 23% in August to its highest rate in 15 years, according to the International Labor Organization.
High youth unemployment comes with a slate of economic consequences for any country. Unemployment while young can lead to “scarring” later in life, as people become saddled with chronically low wages, reduced opportunities, and worse health conditions. Over the long term, high youth unemployment can also drag down a country’s economic growth.바카라사이트
The impact of unemployment in terms of extremism has been particularly high in the past few years, according to the UN report. The number of recruits who cited employment opportunities as their primary reason for joining an extremist organization has increased 92% since 2017, when the previous UNDP report on unemployment and terror was published.
As unemployment has risen, people have been less able to rely on governments and their savings to meet their needs. Nearly half of respondents to the UN study said there was a “tipping point” in their past, such as the death or arrest of a family member, that created a low point and provided an opening for extremist groups to step in.
“The geopolitical dimension should not surprise anyone,” Steiner said. “It is part of this phenomenon when states are essentially no longer able to provide a rule of law and to provide national security. Then the opportunity for other actors to become part of this drama grows exponentially.”
While terrorism worldwide has trended down in recent years, extremist and violent activity has become much more concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, the focus of the UN report. The Sahel, a region of 10 countries stretching from East to West dividing the Sahara from the savannas of southern Africa, accounts for nearly 50% of global terrorism deaths, according to the IEP. The think tank referred to the region as the “epicenter of terrorism” due to high population growth, weak governments, scarce economic prospects, and persistent drought conditions.
Reversing the trend of high unemployment and extremism begins with reestablishing trust between citizens and governments, the UN said. Most recruits said they mistrusted the government when they joined, while the report found that even one additional year of schooling could reduce the probability of joining an extremist group by 13%.
“Security-driven counterterrorism responses are often costly and minimally effective,” Steiner said. “The social contract between states and citizens must be reinvigorated to tackle root causes of violent extremism.”온라인카지노