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United Nation’s 2013 International Youth Day addresses youth migration

On December 1999, the United Nations (UN) endorsed the declaration of August 12 as the International Youth Day (IYD). For 2013, its commemoration’s theme is Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward, chosen to shed light on the struggles and experiences of youthful migrants.


Youth are recognized as one of the most mobile social groups in the context of migration. According to the UN, in 2010, there were an estimated 27 million international young migrants, forming about 30% of all international migrants.

Understanding that young people make up a significant share of the global number of international migrants, the 2013 celebration of IYD seeks to raise awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with youth migration, share knowledge and information stemming from recent research and analysis on this topic, and engage young people in discussions on their migration experiences.

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.

UN’s World Youth Report

The need is not only to increase the understanding about the situation of young migrants, but also to discuss the role that youth-led organizations have in addressing migration issues. The observance of IYD will also serve as the opportunity to launch UN’s 2013 World Youth Report, that will offer a multidimensional perspective of the life experiences of youth migrants, as well as some insights on the role of youth participation in migration-development policymaking and practice.

The ILO Global Trends in Youth Labour Migration report, which presents findings from research conducted in nine different countries and at the level of two regions on the motivations and experiences of young people who leave their home countries in search of employment and the policy implications from these trends, will also be launched on this day.

What can youth do on International Youth Day?

To commemorate the day, youth are encouraged to organize events or activities in their communities and send a description of their planned actions to [email protected]. The most creative activities will be featured on the UN’s website.

Following this invitation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, and its Youth, Prosperity and Security Initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and +SocialGood, are developing a one morning event with dynamic speakers to discuss policies and practices around youth migration and how young people are moving development and global prosperity forward with social entrepreneurship , technology and activism. The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) will be represented in the event by Ramona DragomirAtlas Corps Fellow working with the organization in Washington, DC.


Creating an educational radio or TV show, organizing a public meeting, a debate, a Google Hangout, a youth forum or an exhibition and writing to their local or national minister of youth, are some examples of the actions that the UN is encouraging youth worldwide to do.