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Migration and Youth Participation

Migration and Youth Participation

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Published by Alex Farrow
In summer 2012 the UK Young Ambassadors (UKYA) led a 3-month, UK-wide consultation about migration and youth participation, as part of a European consultation of young people.

The UK consultation, involving 1000 young people aged 11-25 years, 12% of whom were from migrant background, included on and off line surveys, consultation workshops, film interviews and a roundtable with experts, asylum seekers and refugees.

This is what we learnt.
In summer 2012 the UK Young Ambassadors (UKYA) led a 3-month, UK-wide consultation about migration and youth participation, as part of a European consultation of young people.

The UK consultation, involving 1000 young people aged 11-25 years, 12% of whom were from migrant background, included on and off line surveys, consultation workshops, film interviews and a roundtable with experts, asylum seekers and refugees.

This is what we learnt.

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categoriesTypes, Research
Published by: Alex Farrow on Jun 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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In summer 2012 the UK Young Ambassadors (UKYA) leda 3-month, UK-wide consultation about migration andyouth participation, as part of a European consultationof young people.The UK consultation, involving 1000 young people aged11-25yrs, 12% of whom were from migrant background,
included on and o line surveys, consultationworkshops, lm interviews and a roundtable with
experts, asylum seekers and refugees.This is what we learnt . . .
 The EU dene a young migrant as a young person not born in this country, however the UKYA’s understand that young people from migrant families oftenhave similar experiences even if they are born in Britain. It is considered that respondents to the consultation may have perceived young people fromdifferent ethnic backgrounds or from migrant families as also part of the EU dened ‘Young Migrants’.
 
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Young people told us about thekeY obstacles to Young migrants’social inclusion
Language
is a fundamental barrier for integration
with insucient provisions of interpreters and funding
cuts to ESOL classes leading to isolation for manymigrants as they are not able to access services orbuild relationships.
Stereotypical and discriminatory attitudes
withinthe non-migrant population causes divides withincommunities and can act as a barrier to young peoplefrom migrant background getting into employment.
Negative media coverage
is seen to compoundthis issue as non-migrants are not educated aboutthe legalities, challenging circumstances and cultural
dierences of migrants
“The media is so prejudiced against migrant communities which then becomes the norm or people. There is no mention o the positives o multicultural communities.” “They don’t eel that people deserve the right to be heard i it was their own choice to move to a oreign country.” 
Young people also suggested that
politicians fuelledthis negative portrayal,
and they felt that
MPs shouldstop ‘anti-migration’ talk
and using terms whichisolate migrant communities such as ‘British Jobs forBritish People’.
Young refugees and asYlumseekers told us about legalbarriers that theY felt preventedthem from integrating
Young refugees and asylum seekers have
limitedaccess to education.
Under 18s often have to wait upto a year for a school place, those over 18 have limitedaccess to schools or colleges, and access to universityis nearly prohibited due having to pay international fees.Young asylum seekers and refugees have
no right towork
whilst their immigration status is being assessed.This contributes to experiences of poverty and impactsof their ability to access education.Young refugees and asylum seekers explained thatbeing dependent on allocated
housing
leads to beingisolated in poor areas, often placed amongst othermigrant communities thereby without any opportunityfor integration through mixed communities or schools.They are also often moved multiple times and unableto establish roots in a community.Many young people in refugee or asylum seekingfamilies act as translators for parents during legal orhealth appointments and thereby are taken away froma
normal childhood
of school and making friends.Other concerns amongst young refugees and asylumseekers included
lack of passports
inhibiting freedomto travel, the impact of
being age disputed
and therebybeing placed
inappropriate education and services.
 
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 3
“In a diverse community where everyone is integrated well together,people lose their prejudices and treat people more or less the same regardless o their background.” “Community inspired celebration events o dierent cultures.” 
Young people’s recommendationsto improve participation of Youngmigrants:
Better language provision
that includes more fundingfor accessible English for Speakers of Other Languages(ESOL) classes was emphasised as key to helpingyoung people to integrate and progress in the UKeasier. Young people felt more access to interpretersto help support with access services such as doctorsand solicitors was also key in educating new migrantsand reducing poverty.
“I hear things all the time like why can’t these idiots learn English” 
More
educational support that encouragesintegration
should include teachers who have beenspecialised in working with young migrants and culturethat supports better understanding in schools aboutthe challenges facing young migrants.More
lenient restrictions in the law and policies
 around asylum seekers and refugees access toemployment would enable young people to counteract
the misconception that refugees are taking benets,
reduce crime, help the economy and help young peopleto be included in society.Other recommendations included more
support forparents, stable housing
and
better fnancial support
 to access
further education.
Young people’s recommendationsto improve social inclusion ofYoung migrants:
Young people felt there are many opportunities foryoung people to get involved already exist but theyneed
better promotion of opportunities
which paysattention to publicity that is accessible.
“We think we’ve hit the  jackpot by using the universality o music!” 
 Youth Political structures
were seen as eective way
for young people, including young people from migrant
backgrounds, to have their say and eect change and
young people from migrant backgrounds should beencouraged to get involved.
“Having structures in place such as youth orums that allow these young people to eel that they can make a positive impact in their local community.” 
Other young people’s recommendations included
encouraging politicians and young migrants to worktogether in dialogue
and ensuring
Parliament is morerepresentative of diverse communities.
“When I was about 13 I went to the City youth club and a boy the same age as me had moved into the area rom Nigeria. The youth club paired me with him as his peer mentor person.I helped him learn some English and showed him round the area introducing him to my riends and then he started at my school. We are still in contact now even though we, now, go to dierent colleges” 

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