High Bhutanes youth unemployed rate
Bhutan knows a relatively low unemployment rate, which dropped last year from 3.3% to 3.1%. That means 10.500 people presently are without a job. Remarkable statistics show that amongst the unemployed Bhutanese, there’s many young people. Almost one out of every 10 Bhutanese unemployed, are youngsters. This was shown by the Labour Force Survey this year issued form the Ministry of Labour. Amongst the unemployed youth, the youngsters in the age from 15 to 29 years take the biggest part into account: 10.3%. Youth from 15 to 19 years follow with 6,9 percent, while the unemployment rate for youth between 25 and 29 years is 5,4%. Although the youth without a job in cities decreased, the number incread amongst those living in rural areas. Over 40% of those looking for work, dropped out of school. Read more  

Marrying (too) young
Like other countries in Asia, many children in Bhutan tend to marry at a young age. About 6% of the Bhutanese women marry before they turn 15 years old. As everywhere else, the percentage is highter in the rural areas (7,5%) than in the cities (5,1%). This was shown by the Bhutan Multiple Indicator Survey, held last year. Marrying too young often brings along several problems for the young girls. One of the problems is that marrying at a young age means getting children early as well. Often the young parents aren’t well prepared mentally. Because they don’t know how to take care of their babies, this can lead to stress. And talking about getting pregnant: too often the woman don’t even know they’re pregnant, thereby not taking the necessary care and precautions. The survey also showed a direct link between early marriages and poor wealth. Those marrying before the age of 15 consist of 10,4% of the poor, 6,7% are from the middle class while ‘only’ 3.5 percent of the girls from the richer families wed at a young age. There’s also a direct link with education: 8.9% of the young brides have no education and 8% have primary education, while 1,2% has secondary education or more. Read more 

Does Bhutan need a Right to Information Act?
In the early days societies already knew that information = knowlegde = power. Bhutan is a young democracy, wrestling with the issue of public information. Although the Bhutanese have acces to more and more information, grace to the internet and social media, some say too much information is still held for the people and organisations. This should be stopped by a constitutional provision, like the creation of an Right to Information (RTI) Act. This act should give each and every citizen the legitimate right to information. Nowadays there’s a debate going on about the desirability and benefits of this act. While some believe nów is the time for this act, since a true democracy can only work when information is open for the public, others question why this act is necessary. During a recent press conference, Prime minister Jigmi Y Thinley agreed that information is necessary, but that he didn’t know if the time was right. In addition he said the government didn’t withold any relevant information from the public: the present government is transparant and if people request for information, it’s been given to them. Read more  

Water: the new gold for Thimpu residents
Nowadays enough drinking water is becoming a challenge for those Bhutanese living in the capital of Thimpu. There’s a growing shortage and the city council is unable to solve this problem until official law is made. As a result, Thimpu’s inhabitans find inventive ways so they can provide for their own need of good drinking water. They search for alternative water sources, build water tanks and make pipelines which run for a mere 3400 meters across the slopes of the nereby hills. About 1 of every 10 citizens of Thimphu arranges his own drinking water nowadays. However, this leads to problems, since people start claiming water as their own. They officialy don’t have private ownership, but have managed anyway to exclusively use it. Like marking their private water pools or streams by filtered tanks which are built privately and putting wooden fences, barbed wire or cement around their ‘territory’. Those who started early to use these sources get into arguments with the newcomers about who has the right to use the water. Until recently no official law restriced the people from using water in this alternative way. This will change with the making of the draft water act which presently waits for Royal assend. Read more 

High rise in urban living expected
July 11th was international World Population Day. In Bhutan a funciton was organised in Thimpu to observe this special day. Acoording to docter Gepke Hingst, a UN representative, Bhutan could face problems in the near future because of internal migrations in the country and urbanisation. Presently a national population policy is made in Bhutan to adress concerns and issues which are associated with an expectant high growth of its pupulation by in 20 years. About 30% of the Bhutanese nowadays live in urbanisations, but Hingst expects that this might change drastically. It’s very important these urban centers are designed properly so everyone not only has acces to different public services, but als can find some peace of mind inside. In addition, woman and the youth should be included in the process to find solutions for a stronger urbanisation. Challenges lie in the field of enough food and water, as well has health issues. Read more