“Will you listen and take action?” Youth voices on migration
On 14 February 2014, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched its flagship UN World Youth Report (WYR) “Youth and Migration”. The Report examines, for the first time, the concerns, challenges and opportunities of young migrants based on their own experience and in their own voices.
In highlighting the opportunities and challenges faced by the young migrants, the Report features stories, quotes and comments of youth migrants taken from a series of online consultations and surveys organized by DESA. The stories shared in the Report tell us migration can hugely benefit youth through increased income –including the opportunity to send remittances back home to their families – and access to better health and higher education prospects. At the same time, we learn that not all young migrants have positive experiences. Depending on their migration motive, gender and status, they may experience culture shock, loneliness, homelessness, employment challenges, language barriers, stereotyping and discrimination in destination societies. The most vulnerable migrants, including irregular and female migrants, face unique challenges including abuse and lack of access to basic services like healthcare. These factors affect their social and economic integration and their chances to succeed as migrants.
In this context, obtaining reliable migration-related information, is one of the prime challenges faced by the young people cited in the report, considering that “without accurate information, young people can fall vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.” Thus, it is suggested, youth-friendly migration information is made accessible to facilitate decision making, planning and integration in destination societies.
While youth migration is beneficial for both originating and destination societies, some originating countries feel threatened by the movement of highly skilled young migrants and the ensuing impact of brain drain. It is critical to find ways to facilitate the return of migrants through, for instance, providing information that enable them to reintegrate to the social and economic life, and benefit the originating societies through “brain gain”.
Some recent and previous programs by both state and non-state actors recognise the importance of addressing youth migration issues from a human rights, gender sensitive and sustainable development standpoint. These efforts, including youth-led interventions, identified in the WYR, could be sustained and scaled up considering youth migration is likely to be stimulated in the short and medium term from a demographic perspective. At the same time it is important for young people, especially youth-led civil society organisations, to recognise that the WYR’s focus on youth migration presents an opportunity to strengthen youth leadership/engagement and evidence-based policy advocacy in addressing the challenges young people face with the migration process.
While it is important for stakeholders who seek the best outcomes of youth migration to address the structural barriers (including the lack of youth-friendly migration policy engagement spaces) that youth-led organisations face, young people have the opportunity to design and implement context-specific actions for “safe migration” as identified by the Report. If young people would like their migration to be ‘safe’, practical actions to influence policies and programmes are required. As suggested by the Report, practical action can be taken from the organisation of information campaigns to encourage safe migration while discouraging irregular migration by lobbying for laws and policies that protect and promote the rights of young migrants. However, the challenge lies in the need for a greater focus on addressing the marginalised and most vulnerable young migrants (including irregular migrants, female migrants and forced migrants).
Youth migration can facilitate youth development. Now that the issues have been brought to the limelight, the question arises; will we listen and take action? But keep in mind that “no action” isn’t really an option!
About the Author: Michael Boampong, age 29, has been actively engaged in youth development and migration issues since 2005. He currently works for UNDP on migration and development, and previously moderated the online consultations for the World Youth Report.
United Nations World Youth Report: Youth and Migration
The United Nations World Youth Report “Youth and Migration” offers a broad understanding of the situation of young migrants from the perspective of young migrants themselves. The report highlights some of the concerns, challenges and successes experienced by young migrants based on their own lives and told in their own voices. More information..
On 14 February 2014, the Division for Social Policy and Development in UNDESA launched its flagship UN World Youth Report “Youth and Migration”. The report is based on the experiences of young people affected by migration and relates the stories of individuals as they move to new lands. The report outlines the global situation of young migrants by highlighting some of the concerns, challenges and successes experienced by young migrants as told in their voices taken from a series of online consultations and surveys organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
To launch the report, UNDESA organized an event that featured young artists in portraying the lives of young migrants through different art forms, including poetry, dance, acting, film and music etc.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) again invite YOU to submit original and creative videos focusing on PLURAL+ themes: migration, diversity and social inclusion.
A prestigious international jury will select three winners in each age category (9-12, 13-17, and 18-25). International Jury winners will be invited to New York, all travel expenses paid, to present their work at the PLURAL + 2014 Awards Ceremony at the Paley Center for Media in December 2014.
The PLURAL+ 2014 deadline for video submission is 27 June, 2014.
Further information, including guidelines, regulations, awards, and the entry form can be found at the PLURAL+ website at: www.unaoc.org/pluralplus.
The first Arab States Regional South-South Development Expo is taking place in Doha, Qatar on 18-20 February. The ILO hosts a Solution Forum presenting a series of good practices and lessons learned on South-South and triangular cooperation on the theme of Youth Employment. The forum will involve representatives from governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations in order to gain a better understanding of the interrelation of labour standards, employment creation, social protection mechanisms and social dialogue in tackling youth employment. More
UNFPA, along with national partners celebrated, for the first time, the launch of the YPEER network in Palestine. Fifteen young women and men were brought together from different parts of Palestine to promote healthy lifestyles for youth, to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive rights and to empower them to prevent and protect their young peers from HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.
To learn more about YPEER Palestine, please visit the below link to the short documentary prepared by YPEER members:
UN-Habitat opened its 6th call for application to its Urban Youth Fund on 15th February. The Urban Youth Fund gives grants to youth-led organizations globally. Since its inception the Fund supported 238 youth groups. Youth groups that wish to apply for funding have to visit the application portal. The deadline for applications is 15th April. The youth groups have to be youth-led and registered at least for one year. For any questions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgMore
UN-Habitat has kicked off a new and exciting opportunity for people who want to mentor youth-led organizations from around the world and help them to become active citizens in their communities and to bring global change.
This is a unique opportunity for grassroots organizations, experts and consultants to work with leading youth groups, and take youth empowerment to the next level.
UN-Habitat is hosting the Youth Assembly during World Urban Forum 7. The assembly under the theme “Youth and The New Urban Agenda” examines the importance of youth as drivers of positive change for cities. Discussions will examine the impacts of youth unemployment in urban economies and identify the role of cities in creating decent jobs and livelihood opportunities for youth. Participants at the assembly will have the opportunity to deliberate and make recommendations to better inform the Post-2015 agenda and Habitat III processes. More
In 2012, the ECA redefined its strategic vision and recalibrated its progarmmes to support Africa’s transformation. In this endeavour, ECA has put youth as one of its areas of focus by establishing a population and youth section. A major part of ECA’s work on youth is conducting research and analyzing trends and policies in some priority areas, notably in the areas of education, employment, and the participation of youth in society and decision-making. ECA also provides technical support to its member States on policies relating to youth. More
UNV Kazakhstan hosted a Google+ Hangout “Let’s Volunteer Together” on January 29, 2014. For the first time international UN Volunteers, together with young local volunteers shared their experience with audiences in Kazakhstan and elsewhere. The conversation focused on the challenges volunteers face and the solutions they can offer for the development of Kazakhstan, considering the Post-2015 development process.
The hangout successfully connected volunteers and young people who are interested in becoming “change-makers” in their communities.
For more information, visit UNV Kazakhstan’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/unvkaz.
Through the unprecedented social transformations taking place in the Arab states, young women and men in the region have proven to have the energy and passion to take the development of their countries in their own hands. This is why the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme initiated a regional youth volunteering project “Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future” to be piloted in five countries (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen). “Volunteering has helped me grow as a person, made me stronger, more organized and happier. It made me feel like I have a purpose, like I have the power to change the world, one little step at a time,” says Amel, a 24 year-old Tunisian who has dedicated most of her free time to volunteer for health education in her country. More
As the Open Working Group’s eighth session comes to an end in New York, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) considers the role of youth in peace and security agendas post-2015. Is a future possible where the discourse on youth as victims or perpetrators of violence transforms into one that recognises the potential of young people as peacemakers? And will there be a space for young peacebuilders to secure resources, government commitments and funding through their inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda?
Young people and Restless Development representatives attended the 8th Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals meeting in New York.
As governance was identified as a post-2015 priority in global youth consultations, representative from Restless Development, Victoria Forsgate, discussed how the agenda can deliver a people-centred rather than state-centred vision of governance.
Restless Development also outlined the recommendations of a recent civil society proposal for a stand-alone goal on governance and targets to be integrated into the other goals.
20 young women from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are preparing for the 58th UN Commission on the Status of Women. Nine delegates in New York and 11 ‘Remote Delegates’ will be bringing extensive grassroots experience of working towards the Millennium Development Goals and will ensure the voices of 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and their communities are heard at the UN.
Green Hope UAE was founded to carry forward the Rio legacy with the active engagement of the children and youth in the Middle East region. We have been spreading awareness on Sustainable Consumption and Production and UNEP's 10 Year Framework Plan through our workshops in Dubai’s schools explaining the need to shift to a sustainable lifestyle by adopting environmentally friendly consumption patterns , waste reduction and practicing resource efficiency.
Published by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of UN DESA, the report places special focus on policy and disadvantaged social groups, in addition to examining the consequences of high inequality.
The report illustrates that growing inequalities can be brought to a stop by integrated policies that are universal in principle while paying particular attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. It reminds world leaders that, in addressing inequalities, policy matters.
To read the full report,click here.
The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 reports that the global economy is improving but remains vulnerable to new and old headwinds. Global economic growth is forecast to accelerate from a sluggish 2.1 per cent in 2013 to 3.0 per cent in 2014 and 3.3 per cent in 2015. The report warns of the risks associated with the upcoming unwinding of quantitative easing programs in major developed economies. More