Abibiman Foundation press statement on occasion of International Youth Day
2013 International Youth Day
Theme: Youth Migration, Moving Development Forward
DATE: 12th August 2013
Young people make up a significant share of the global number of international migrants. In 2010, there were an estimated 27 million international young migrants aged 15-24 globally and form about 30% of international migrants! Yet very little is known about the livelihood struggles and opportunities that migration presents for young migrants and other youth who are affected by migration While migration can often offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations, including discrimination and exploitation.
But for every opportunity that migration presents, there are also challenges that confront vulnerable and marginalised young migrants: discrimination, lack of access to basic social services, sexual and other health risks and lack of support networks.
To migrate is to make a life changing decision. Young people should have “the right to move”, but they should also have “the right to not move”. The rights of both should be protected and supported, particularly in the context of societies affected by climate change and conflict, where young people and children are particularly vulnerable.
The focus on youth migration this International Youth Day should cause decision makers to reflect on the kinds of policies and measures required to optimally manage migration and protect the vulnerable.
Well-managed migration supports development by empowering young people, bridging cultures, creating wealth and balancing inequities. Commitment to youth development and empowerment, will work collaboratively to examine the issue of migration and to champion the rights of vulnerable and marginalised migrant young people
Let us partner with young people, develop and implement strategies to ensure their perspectives are recognised in societies and advocate for investments in young people. The return on such investments is extremely high – for both social and economic development
Youth should remind political leaders of their promise and their responsibility to youth and the future generations, I am convinced that climate change will increasingly be a driver in worsening displacement crises in the world and We must work together to mobilize the political will and leadership to prevent and end the conflicts that trigger refugee flows and Climate Refugees
Abibimman Foundation, AYICC –Ghana, GCAP-Ghana and IDAY-Ghana, believe -Youth are recognized as one of the most mobile social groups in the context of migration. We need to raise awareness about the situation of these young people as well as the role of youth-led organizations in addressing migration issues
Kenneth Nana Amoateng
Chief Executive Officer