UN chief spotlights issue of young migrants on Int'l Youth Day

UN chief spotlights issue of young migrants on Int
# 12 August 2013 22:21 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday highlighted the plight as well as the contributions of young migrants in an effort to raise global awareness of the migration of the group, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In his message for the International Youth Day, which fell on Monday, Ban emphasized the positive contribution young migrants make to societies of origin, transit and destination.

"The remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide," Ban said. "When they return home, young migrants often enhance development by applying skills and ideas acquired abroad. And, in many cases, women are empowered through migration as they gain financial and social independence."

Young people make up a significant share of the global number of international migrants. Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 percent. In the year of 2010, there were an estimated 27 million international young migrants, according to UN figures.

Referring to the challenges and hard conditions they face, Ban pointed out that the struggles are exacerbated by the current global economic and financial crisis.

"In transit and at their final destinations, many young migrants face equal or greater struggles, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination and human rights violations. Young women, in particular, face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse," Ban noted.

The UN chief urged member states to consider the issue of youth migration during the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will be held in October during the General Assembly session.

"I encourage Member States, youth-led organizations and other stakeholders to act to promote the rights of all young migrants and maximize the development potential of youth migration," he said.

Following a recommendation from the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, the General Assembly declared August 12 to be International Youth Day in 1999. The theme of the event for this year is "Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward."

Jean-Pierre Gonnot, an official from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, also spoke at a special function held here Monday to mark the International Youth Day.

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