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On International Youth Day, UN officials highlight potential of young migrantsOn International Youth Day, 12 August, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions, as well as plight of young migrants, who often face hard conditions away from their homes. “The remittances [young migrants] send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the Day. “When they return home, young migrants often enhance development by applying skills and ideas acquired abroad. And, in many cases, women are empowered through migration as they gain financial and social independence.”
Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent, however, little is known about their struggles. They are often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of racism or discrimination. Young women migrants also face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse. In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability. By addressing these vulnerabilities the full potential of youth migration be realized.
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