Secretary-General's Message for 2013
This year’s observance of International Youth Day focuses on the issue of youth migration. Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent, yet too little is known about their struggles and experiences.
The reasons young people migrate are many. Some are fleeing persecution, others are escaping economic hardship. Some are alone, others part of a family – with parents, siblings and even children of their own. Some have communities to go to, others must make new connections. In transit and at their final destinations, many young migrants face equal or greater struggles, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination and human rights violations. Young women, in particular, face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.