If young people are to live productive fulfilling lives, the international community needs to pay far greater attention to their vulnerabilities, their potential and their rights.
In a protracted refugee setting like Dzaleka, where multiple generations are born and raised, young refugees are struggling to hold on to hopes and dreams for a future that does not include the label of ‘refugee’.
Young Sudanese refugees may benefit from greater freedom and opportunities in camps but the need for bridewealth payments when they return to their homelands can impose severe restrictions on their choices and integration prospects.
In order to keep children and adolescents safe, and improve their chances of living fulfilling lives, we need to listen and respond to their views and opinions on matters that affect them.
As well as suffering the obvious side-effects such as missing parental affection and guidance, unaccompanied displaced youth also suffer from being stigmatised by some members of the host communities.
The relationship between poverty, inequality and conflict exacerbates youth migration from rural areas.
Young people who migrate without their parents develop peer networks and may not be inherently more vulnerable than those with inter-generational networks.
A young adult from rural Colombia assesses feelings of loss and isolation having being forced to flee to Costa Rica.
The transition from childhood into adulthood is particularly complex for young people of mixed ethnic backgrounds who experience being ‘out of place’ twice: as young adults and as ethnically mixed. The challenges are clear in Rwanda.
History, inheritance and uncertainty affect the experience of being male, young and displaced in Jammu and Kashmir.
Children often choose the streets during crises and then remain trapped there.
Particular vulnerabilities for adolescents during times of crisis and emergency are exacerbated by lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services. Greater attention to adolescents’ needs – and the use of innovative approaches to engage them – can help mitigate often life-threatening impacts.
When given the opportunity, young people can work effectively together to promote local integration.
In an urban environment, the relationship between an unaccompanied young refugee and his or her host family is critical, often making the difference between a life of protection and one of exploitation.
Young mothers seeking reintegration after periods of time spent living with fighting forces and armed groups face exclusion and stigma rather than the support they and their children badly need.
It has been a challenge for many young Sudanese to navigate Finnish education, traditions and habits, and for their families to make the journey with them.
Young forced migrants in London are challenging – and seeking to renegotiate – existing power relations.
With the right assistance and support, unaccompanied refugee youth can adapt and thrive in a new country while maintaining their cultural identity.
The resettlement experience often pits high expectations against harsh realities. The greatest pressure to ‘succeed’ in this new world is often shouldered by the younger generation but one-to-one mentoring by community volunteers can support them in a variety of ways.
If protracted – and often forgotten – situations of displacement are to be ‘unlocked’, the international community must circumvent the rigidity of existing solutions and search for new and innovative strategies.
A refugee-led news service in Kakuma camp has had to address various challenges – including physical threats – in its attempt to provide a voice for refugees and to tackle issues such as insecurity and corruption in the camp.
Persons invoking the same grounds for protection may benefit from different rights, depending on the status which is granted to him/her and in which EU country.
A recent commitment announced by the Government of Afghanistan to develop a national policy on internal displacement is timely. If carried out well in the lead up to transition, it will help the government to better protect and meet the needs of internally displaced communities across the country.
There remain legal and policy challenges in the assistance and protection of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
Health agencies in refugee camps face the dual challenge of, firstly, convincing both camp populations and the international community that mental health disorders deserve treatment as much as any other illness – and, secondly, building enough trust to encourage people to seek that treatment.
Addressing high rates of suicide among resettled Bhutanese refugees calls for culturally appropriate, community-based approaches to mental health care.
Argentina’s human rights-based migration policy has helped regularise regional migrant flows and has also benefitted refugees with special protection needs. Far from jeopardizing the local economy or undermining social cohesion, migrants and resettled refugees have been instrumental in Argentina’s swift economic recovery in recent years.