Optics of young people: UNICEF in Belarus organized an open consultation between adolescents and businesses
On November 21, the UNICEF Adolescent Advisory Council and other young people met with representatives of the business community: professionals from MTS, Kaspersky, DoubleTree by Hilton Minsk, Priorbank, and 21vek.by. Young people described what they expected from businesses, shared their vision of an ideal employer and provided recommendations on existing services and products, on accessibility for people with disabilities, and on teenager friendliness of marketing.
November 20 was World Children's Day: the day when the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted. It has been declared globally that children have rights along with adults: the right to health, education, protection and equal opportunities for every child.
It is important for UNICEF that the opinion of young people in Belarus is taken into account when developing decisions on the issues like education, environment, mental health, and even doing business. Their voice is a valuable resource. Today's children and adolescents will make important decisions in the country in 10-15 years, and some of them will develop the private sector.
“We want to open a dialogue between young people and businesses, so the business representatives hear what concerns children and take this into account in their work. It is especially important that businesses know and understand the challenges of the most vulnerable children, children with disabilities, fatherless and motherless children, refugee children,” said UNICEF Representative in Belarus Rustam Haydarov.
Young people from the UNICEF Adolescent Advisory Council and the Belarusian Association for Helping Children and Young People with Disabilities talked to a representative of the MTS company, described why they were concerned about online bullying and found out what solution the company offered.
Young people talked to the representatives of Priorbank and found out how the bank worked with young people: it trained students and gave them opportunities to learn banking practicalities.
Young people talked to a representative of DoubleTree by Hilton Minsk and found out how the business developed inclusion. They also had a hotel tour and saw how the company took care of its employees.
Young people talked to a representative of Kaspersky in Belarus and learned about its social projects and training initiatives, as well as about the necessary skills for young people to work in the IT sector.
Young people also went on a study tour to one of the largest logistics centers in Belarus — the warehouse of the 21vek.by online hypermarket — and talked with its representatives.
At the Q&A session, young people were interested in what qualities business representatives valued in employees; what opportunities teenagers had for cooperation with the business; what prospects children with no work experience had; whether the business employed young people with disabilities and helped them in on-the-job adaptation, etc.
All recommendations for businesses generated through the consultations will be consolidated and, perhaps, some of them will translate into practice.