This photo shows young migrants who were rescued in the Mediterranean at thier arrival  on the coast of southern Italy. Photo by Marco Costantono/ANSA
This photo shows young migrants who were rescued in the Mediterranean at thier arrival on the coast of southern Italy. Photo by Marco Costantono/ANSA

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has compiled a list of ten challenges that young refugees face. These include things such as difficulty getting legal recognition and access to instruction, discrimination, difficulty in finding work, and a lack of safety and security.

The report used information from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC). "Refugee youth are seldom consulted and frequently overlooked. Their talents, energy, and potential remain largely untapped," NRC said in a statement. 

1: Difficulties obtaining legal recognition and personal documents - Young refugees report difficulties and delays in asylum processing and in the time for obtaining the related legal documents from UNHCR and local authorities, and the serious consequences of not having them. 

2: Difficulty in accessing quality learning, education, and skills-building opportunities - Young refugees consistently identify the difficulty of obtaining recognition for their existing qualifications as a serious challenge. Accessing quality learning, formal education, and skill-building opportunities are also recurrent problems.

3: Discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and "culture clash" - Young refugees report that discrimination, racism, and xenophobia across all regions leaves them feeling isolated and marginalized.

4: Few youth employment and livelihood opportunities - Refugee youths emphasize they would rather work than depend on humanitarian aid and express frustration at the limited employment and livelihood opportunities available to them. 

5: Gender inequality, discrimination, exploitation, and violence, including for LGBTI youth - Young refugees highlight concerns about gender inequality and discrimination as challenges, but also as underlying causes of sexual exploitation and gender-based violence. 

6: Poor access to youth-sensitive healthcare, including psychosocial support - Refugee youths report a lack of access to quality health care as a major concern, and highlight the need for youth-sensitive sexual and reproductive health care and psychosocial support.

7: Lack of safety, security, and freedom of movement - Refugee youths express concern about safety, security, and freedom of movement linked to xenophobia and their difficulty obtaining documents. In some locations, they also highlight police harassment.

8: Challenges for unaccompanied youth - Refugees report specific challenges for unaccompanied youth, including the difficult transition and a lack of preparation for those who turn 18, and thus are no longer afforded additional protection and support, even though they often still need it. 

9: Lack of opportunities to participate - Youth identify a lack of empowerment and engagement opportunities as factors that limit youth involvement in decision making. 

10: Lack of information about asylum, refugee rights, and available services - Young refugees report challenges related to the lack of relevant and transparent information about the asylum process, refugee rights, available services, and the society and culture of their country of asylum.


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