Children and Youth

Making Migration work for Sustainable Development

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Together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNDP is supporting eleven countries—Bangladesh, Ecuador, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, the Philippines, Serbia, Senegal and Tunisia, to continue to address the plight of migrants and their host communities by supporting national and local governments to mainstream migration into development plans.

YoP MiLéDou

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The YoP MiLéDou project in Côte d’Ivoire aims to foster inclusion of migrants by tapping into a shared love of sports. The project, based in schools and neighborhood clubs in Yopougon (a municipality in Abdijan), brings together youth of different nationalities and origins in a junior basketball league. In addition to supporting overall well-being, the project is designed to offer a space where participants can find commonalities and engage in dialogue.

Access to health care guaranteed and free for all children under 18

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In Sweden, the law was changed in 2012 so that access to health care is now guaranteed and free for all children under 18, and for all adults in case of emergency, without any requirement to provide documents. Strong rules on confidentiality apply to citizens and non-citizens, both for access to health care and education, creating a robust firewall in the sphere of health, hence patient confidentiality includes undocumented migrants. 

Programs encourage links between schools and communities to foster social inclusion of children and their families

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Numerous programs encourage links between schools and communities to foster social inclusion of children and their families. For instance, in the Netherlands for second-generation Turks and Moroccans; in Pakistan for Hazara girls; in Canada among African and Caribbean-born immigrants; and in the US for Latin America and Vietnamese communities.

Social innovation initiatives

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Social innovation initiatives have been launched in many countries to find solutions to local challenges involving migrants, refugees and host communities in social entrepreneurship ventures.

Numerous programs empower young people to identify challenges in their communities and to create entrepreneurial solutions to address these barriers. Through a combination of training, mentorship and in some cases seed funding, youth learn transferable skills to become social innovators and entrepreneurs.

Some examples of these programs (see links below) are:

Youth College

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The Youth College is a free education, training and mentoring programme for young migrants (mostly asylum-seekers) aged between 15 and 21 in Vienna. As part of the city’s broader “Start Wien” integration initiative, the aim of the Youth College is to help young migrants lead an independent life as quickly as possible by preparing them for further education, vocational training or the workplace.

German-Moroccan training partnerships for the vocational guidance of adolescents in Morocco

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The partnership between the Moroccan National Federation of Public Works (FNBTP) and the German training organization 'Otto Benecke Stiftung', together with professional federations and German and Moroccan vocational training institutions, provides young people with vocational training in Morocco. The aim of the project is to contribute to the battle against youth unemployment and against irregular migration to Europe, as well as to provide vocational training in Morocco that meets international standards. 

IOM campaign "migrants as messengers"

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Migrants as Messengers is a peer-to-peer messaging campaign by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) where returning migrants share with their communities and families the dangers, trauma, and abuse that many experienced while attempting irregular migration.  From smartphones to social media platforms and social networks, returning migrants from Senegal, Guinea, and Nigeria share their stories to generate awareness and provide advice and information on misconceptions about living abroad.

Rural youth migration, social protection and sustainable value chains in Kenya

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FAO is working towards building the capacity of poor and vulnerable youth in migration prone areas, including cash transfers beneficiaries, and engaging them in productive activities along agro-food value chains; and support youth entrepreneurs to scale-up their businesses along selected value chains.

FAO's Integrated Country Approach (ICA) for boosting decent jobs for youth in the agri-food system - Second Phase

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The second implementation phase (2015-2018) of FAO's Integrated Country Approach (ICA) for boosting decent jobs for youth in the agri-food system targeted Senegal, Uganda and Guatemala. FAO's efforts in this programme are aimed at providing rural youth with alternatives to migration through decent rural employment in agricultural value chains, and by fostering diaspora engagement in agri-business.

Egypt-German cooperation agreement on immigration and refugees

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With the aim of intensifying cooperation on migration issues, Germany and Egypt signed an Agreement on Bilateral Dialogue on Migration on 27 August 2017. Through the agreement, the two countries seek to work together to tackle the reasons why people migrate to Europe and stres the importance of investing in professional training for young people.

The Agreement includes both closer economic cooperation, as well as support for the Egyptian education sector and additional scholarships for young Egyptians to study in Germany.

Alternative to children in detention Working Group

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In 2014, Mexico updated its laws, incorporating the norms of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, directly prohibiting immigration detention of children. This step forward for children and migrants rights necessitated a need to look for ways to implement alternatives to detention for immigrant children in Mexico. To do this, Mexico has established a national working group bringing together all releveant implementers - including child right authorities, CSOs, goverrnment departments, and UN Agencies. 


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The PROGUARD project in the European Guardianship Network is a promising project to strenghten effective guardianship and cross-border coordination across Europe. 

The provision of quality guardianship to unaccompanied children is key if they are to receive an appropriate level of care and protection and if they are to achieve their full potential. Quality guardians can play complementary roles of ensuring that all decisions are made in the best interests of the child and contributing to the provision of safe and effective decision making by State actors.

Cross-border Cooperation

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The West Africa Network for the protection of children focuses on ensuring a continuum of services are delivered across the region within and eight-step procedure, ranging from the identification of a vulnerable child and provision of emergency care to their successful social re-integreation.

Children left behind

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The Philippines has national and local policies and programmes for children and families left behind. These include inclusion of family members in pre-departure orientation seminars; monitoring of children and families' well-being and government support to those who stay behind, including legal, social and financial assistance to households with absent parents.