UN World Youth Report


Week 5: Youth and Labour Migration

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NOTE: The Week 5 e-consultation is now CLOSED. It is no longer possible to add new comments. For those of you who have not had time to read all of the comments from this e-consultation, please click here to download the summary of the discussion.


Welcome to the last week of our e-discussion on youth migration. From 19-24 February 2013, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities that youth face in labour migration (Please scroll down this page for today's questions).For those who are joining us for the first time you have the chance to respond to the questions for today and other previous ones.

Your ideas and comments on the questions below will contribute directly to the forthcoming UN World Youth Report 2013. Usually 3-4 questions relating to the issue at hand will be posted each day for this consultation. This e-discussion is moderated by Michael Boampong and our guest moderators from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Gianni Rosas and Min Ji Kim. Our moderators will be online to keep the discussion active. Please note that in responding to the questions below we encourage you to share your ideas and personal experiences.

Meet the Moderators:

Michael Boampong, Lead moderator

Michael Boampong has been actively engaged in youth development and migration issues since 2005. He has worked with a range of civil society organizations, youth networks and international agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF in the design and implementation of policy and field oriented initiatives that promote rights based approaches to migration, poverty reduction, social inclusion and justice.


Gianni Rosas, Guest Moderator

Gianni Rosas has been long active in the promotion of youth employment. He is the coordinator of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Youth Employment Programme. He joined the ILO in 1996 when he served as associate expert in employment and training in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has held several positions both at Geneva headquarters and in the field as member of the ILOs technical cooperation team on employment and training, skills development officer and employment specialist. He participated in the review of the mandate and policy messages of the ILO on youth employment and developed several country programmes on this topic. He has published papers and developed guides and manuals on youth employment. Furthermore, Gianni is very involved in youth employment and migration initiatives. He is the coordinator of the Knowledge Management Facility on youth employment and migration of the UNDP-Spain Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F).

Min Ji Kim, Guest Moderator

Min Ji Kim is the associate expert in international labour migration in the International Migration Branch (MIGRANT) of the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, where she works extensively on the international migration trends of young people. She wrote her MA thesis on the debates around national identity and naturalisation as it concerns young, second-generation migrants.




The e-consultations is coordinated by the UN Focal Point on Youth and is opened to all young people (15-35 years) interested in migration and development issues.

Please introduce yourself when you post a comment by indicating your Name (first name & initial of last name if preferred), Age, Sex, Country and Youth Organisation (if applicable).

We welcome comments in Spanish and French and have installed a Google translate for translation purposes (see above).

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Young people remain particularly stricken by the youth employment crisis. Currently, some 73.8 million young people are unemployed globally and the slowdown in economic activity is likely to push another half million into unemployment by 2014. In many countries, the unemployment scenario is further aggravated by the work of large numbers of young people in poor quality and low paid jobs with intermittent and insecure work arrangements, including activity in the informal economy. Even more youth are either poor or underemployed: some 228 million young people earn less than US$2 per day.

The youth employment crisis pushes millions of young women and men towards the decision to migrate with the purpose of seeking alternatives to improve their job prospects. Many of them migrate to urban areas and big cities within their country, or seek new opportunities in foreign countries. Roughly 27 million leave their countries of birth to seek employment abroad as international migrants.

International/internal migration can bring new opportunities, particularly in terms of employment and training, but young workers, especially females and those in irregular situations face certain challenges and vulnerabililities in the migration process. In many cases international migration has a positive impact on young workers, allowing them to obtain a better remunerated job, gain experience, build self-confidence, and acquire skills and competencies beneficial to themselves and their countries and communities of origin. In some cases, however, labour migration can lead young people into vulnerable situations associated with poor working conditions, discrimination based on gender, ethnicity or religion, lack of social protection and in the worst cases, human trafficking and forced labour. The labour migration experience can end up representing either an opportunity or a risk for young people and can either lead them to decent work or its very opposite, depending on policies and measures supporting them, such as provision of a better linkage to the world of work, more and better social protection, education and training for employment, training and entrepreneurship development, social inclusion and an effective institutional framework.

Your experiences, views and opinions on this issue are most welcome. We would appreciate hearing from you with regard to the questions below:




DAY 3 – 21-24 February 2013


  1. Do you know a good practice on youth employment and migration? Are young people specifically referenced in migration laws/policies, regulations and programmes? Please share some examples.
  2. What is the role of social networks and associations in creating awareness on available jobs in other countries? Are youth-led organizations involved in addressing labour migration concerns? Share examples with us and your experience.
  3. What is your/young migrants experience in re-integrating into your/their country and labour market? Is there information available on job opportunities, financial and non-financial incentives for returning young migrants? Are there support measures?





DAY 2 – 20 February 2013


  1. What kinds of jobs are available for young migrants in the destination city/country? What are typical occupations for young women migrant and for young men migrant? Do you believe there are limitations? How long did it take you to find a job after migrating? Are your employment prospects looking better?
  2. After migration, what are the barriers or opportunities that you/young migrants face in finding a job? What are the differences between young men migrant and young women migrant in this regard? Do you think that your work in the destination country corresponds with your educational or training qualifications? Tell us your experience.
  3. What are the working conditions of young migrant workers? If you have left your country/city to find a job, are you working under good conditions as related to for instance wages, working hours, benefits, insurance, etc.? Do you have rights at work? Do you receive fair remuneration?



DAY 1 – 19 February 2013

  1. What are the causes or motivations of youth labour migration? Are they different from those of older migrants?
  2. What are the labour market prospects in your community or country? Tell us your experience in migrating in your own country or to a foreign country to find work. Has the current employment situation in your community affected your decision to migrate? How?
  3. What are the challenges that you/young migrants face in the transition from school to work? In your community, does education translate to decent work? Do you have to go elsewhere to find a job that matches your studies?
  4. Before migration, were you aware of the rights at work and working conditions of young migrant workers in the destination country? If yes, how did you learn about the rights of young migrant workers?

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 March 2013 12:14

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The UN Focal Point on Youth aims to build awareness of the global situation of young people, as well as promote their rights and aspirations, working toward greater participation of young people in decision-making as a means for achieving peace and development.

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