International Youth Day on 12 August focuses on youth migrationListen /
Many young people around the world leave their home countries in search of work, a better education and a better way of life. How to make the most of a new start in a new country is the focus of this year's International Youth Day, which has as its theme 'Youth Migration: moving development forward'.
Jumbe Jumbe, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration or IOM, says that engaging, enabling and empowering young people to fulfil their development potential is hugely important in ensuring a safe and successful move to a new country.
"Migration is the greatest poverty reduction strategy and young migrants have become powerful agents of change and development. Their numbers now are estimated to be 27 million worldwide, that's an eighth of the total number of international migrants, which is 214 million."
IOM says that the number of young people migrating through both regular and irregular channels has risen – they say that making young people aware of the safe options of moving to another country should reduce the risks of exploitation and abuse. Mr Jumbe says that if young people know what the alternatives are, they can make more informed choices about their future.
"Young people have to be engaged. Engaging and including youth in migration debates and policy formulation so that they can have a clear view of migration, what it entails, because when we engage them they can make a wise decision on migration."
IOM is working with schools and universities around the world to educate potential young migrants of their rights and the best way to go about making a new start abroad.
Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio Geneva