A progressive, healthy and capable youth are the basis of a sustainable socialist society, but Australian youth is facing increasing barriers to their aspirations after school, and to their ability to plan their futures. The provision and financial support for education and training has dropped, and youth unemployment has risen to double the general unemployment rate. In practice, many young people are both workers and students, and they are obliged to juggle education and employment in an increasingly complex and unpredictable environment.
The quality of life for young people has been adversely affected by the increasing fragmentation of social institutions and communities. There is growing concern within the young community about social alienation, as issues of homelessness, mental illness, and drug and alcohol use increasingly impact upon the world they inhabit.
All capitalism has to offer is further instability as the monetisation of the social realm grows in tandem with a precarious labour market. The capitalist mass media further promote the passive consumption of cultural material that directs young people towards social inactivity, political apathy, defeatism and isolation.
A socialist society aspires to a culture in which young people are participants and not recipients. It aspires to policies of action and struggle aiming to further strengthen the optimism and self-esteem of young people. A socialist society assists young people to realise that with their struggle, together with working men and women, they are capable of gaining the right to live a full, productive life and build a bright future.
A socialist society strongly advocates that social awareness and united action should be the answer young people give to the conservative sections of society which desperately attempt to distract them from engaging in the defence and expansion of the democratic freedoms and social rights of young people. Through self-organisation young people can ensure their full and empowering engagement in all aspects of Australian life.
The CPA advocates:
- The right of young people to live in a peaceful, democratic and independent Australia.
- The right to have access to free public education where progressive curricula and equal access constitute the main characteristics of a meaningful public education system reflecting the changing needs of society.
- The right to access to health care appropriate to their particular needs.
- A better quality of life in a safe environment with adequate leisure time and cultural, sporting and recreational opportunities.
- A living income for students and unemployed youth and the provision of housing and support services for homeless youth.
- The right to work, and to secure and productive employment that guarantees the capacity to address changing social, professional and cultural needs.
- An end to “work for the dole” schemes.
- An end to fake traineeships.
- The payment of full wages to those performing work of equal value.
- The elimination of all kind of discrimination of young people due to gender, ethnic background or sexual preference.
- The right to vote from the age of 16.