UN World Youth Report


Why a report ?

The UN World Youth Report web platform has been established by the United Nations Focal Point on Youth to enable young people contribute their personal stories and perspectives on how migration affects them, either as migrants, return migrants or young people left behind by migrant parents.

As part of the process leading to the development of the UN World Youth Report 2013, the UN Focal Point on Youth will organize a number of interactive activities, among them, an online survey, an e-consultation, a Google+ Hangout with young people and experts. The aim of these is to give young migrants and other youth affected by migration  the space to share their experiences on migration. These interactive activities are expected to commence from 23 January and run until 6 March 2013.

Having young people participate directly through various activities will help us to ensure that the World Youth Report is based on the perspectives of those young people who continue to form a significant part of international migrants but have had limited opportunities to share their views on migration, its opportunities and challenges.

Who can participate?

For the purpose of this Report, UN DESA is inviting the participation of young people aged between 15 to 35 years - considering the UN Secretariat’s definition of youth as well as local cultural context of countries and regions across the world, the long term impact of migration on human development, and a range of life cycle issues. It is important to note that the proportion of young migrants’ peaks between the age range of 18 to 29. Additionally, representatives of youth-led organizations will be invited to share their perspectives and experiences on youth and migration.

Efforts will be made to target young people who have no or limited access to internet or online platforms to facilitate their participation in the consultative process. This will be done mainly through youth migrant networks and other relevant youth organizations.

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While considerable attention is given to the issue of migration and its potential economic and social impacts on origin, transit and destination countries, to date very little attention has been given to understanding the livelihood struggles and opportunities that migration presents for young migrants themselves. Young people and youth-led organizations working on migration issues have on various occasions requested a UN study on the situation of youth migration.

The 2013 World Youth Report (WYR) will attempt to offer a multidimensional account or perspective of the life experiences of the young migrants and young people affected by migration. The Report aims to highlight some of the concerns, challenges and successes experienced by young migrants and other young people affected by migration (i.e. including sons and daughters of migrants (second generation), young people left behind by migrant parents in countries of origin, return migrants,etc.), from their own perspectives, based on their own experience, and in their own voice.




The United Nations defines international migrants as persons who reside outside of their country of origin for one year or more. As of 2010 the UN estimated approximately 214 million international migrants.

International migration has undoubtedly become a pressing development issue in recent times, not only for governments and the international community but also for a broad range of society actors in both the global North and South.

Over the past few decades, a political, economic, social and demographic change in many parts of the world has stimulated migration of people to cities within and across countries. Other emerging issues including environmental/climate change has also been identified as a key feature of the drivers of migration. Globalization which facilitates communication and transportation has also influenced migration and interaction between migrants and non-migrants within and across national borders. Migration from developed  to developing countries has been a common phenomenon, however recent evidence shows that there is a growing incidence of migration from one developing country. Furthermore, approximately half (49 percent) of all international migrants are women.

Newly available estimates of the migrant stock by age, produced by the Population Division of DESA, indicated that, by mid-2010, the global number of international migrants aged 15 to 24 was estimated at 27 million, constituting about one-eighth of the global migrant stock of 214 million. According to a UN report, young people represent a major proportion of those migrating annually given that in many cases, the age range 18 to 29 accounts for between 36 per cent and 57 per cent of international migrants.

Today’s youth have access to relatively cheap and easy means of transport, information about  opportunities beyond their borders, and are more likely than ever to migrate for reasons ranging from family reunification to the desire for better education and employment opportunities to the need to escape war or conflicts.

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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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