The GFMD Youth Stakeholder Network
Youth participation in the GFMD started under the Swedish Chairmanship in 2013 and has steadily grown over the years. Originally coordinated through the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, in 2017 a dedicated Working Group on Migration was established to bring the voice of youth to migration fora at international level. In 2021, having reached over 179 organizations representing 88,000 youth across the world, the Group re-established itself as the Migration Youth and Children Platform (MYCP), the youth-led constituency for migration issues.
The GFMD Steering Group formalized the participation of youth as a mandated stakeholder of the Forum in July 2021. Acknowledging the importance of the contributions made by children and young people to the dialogue on migration and development, the Migration Youth and Children Platform (MYCP) has been recognized as the official body for the self-organized participation by children and youth in the GFMD.
In the GFMD, youth engagement is facilitated through different existing structures, including Member States, the three Mechanisms, and GFMD Observers. Furthermore, the inclusion of children and youth as panelists and speakers at GFMD events is encouraged, as well as youth preparatory spaces linked to the Summit. The modalities of participation for youth in GFMD activities are defined together with each individual mechanism or structure, with MYCP serving to source and self-coordinate youth.
Over the past years, Youth Forums have been organized as preparatory events to the GFMD Summit. These are capacity building opportunities for young people, composed of youth leaders, young migrants, organization and government members, attending the Summit as youth representatives, brought together to discuss migration issues, priorities and solutions. Youth Forums include skills workshops, and preparatory roundtables, and feature expert speakers from UN agencies, prominent stakeholders, and champion countries to support the discussions.