Poverty, crowded and unsanitary living conditions and the challenges of finding decent employment are regular features of the migrant experience. These challenges are exacerbated by the current global economic and financial crisis. Migrants are also often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of discrimination. In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability.
It is important to emphasize the positive contribution young migrants make to societies of origin, transit and destination – economically and by enriching the social and cultural fabric. Most work hard to earn a living and improve their circumstances. The remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide. 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.