12 Apr 2022

An Opportunity, a Necessity, or a Choice: Youth Mobility in the Context of Climate Change

  • Date
    18 Apr 2022, 15:00pm
  • Location
    Online - CET Time
  • Organizer



Watch the event recording

The largest young generation in history is facing today’s global climate crisis, with a very significant number of young people living in areas vulnerable to climate impacts. When facing adverse climatic conditions that very often intersect with other social, political and economic factors, people engage in different forms of migration either within their countries or abroad. In the context of climate and environmental change, migration can either aggravate young people`s challenges or boost their opportunities.

Environmental migration is already a reality and youth involvement should be at the center of the response to these environmental changes. Yet to date, policy processes have paid relatively little attention to youth migrating in the context of climate change.

Young migrants face specific challenges during their migration or displacement experience, especially as it occurs at a crucial time in their emotional, cognitive, physical and social development. However, specific vulnerabilities of young migrants in the context of climate change and environmental degradation remain underexplored. Migration can offer young people new opportunities and horizons, such as the chance to improve skills, access alternative livelihoods, pursue education, and the opportunity to use it as a strategy to adapt to the changing climate. Where possible, migration has to be a choice, especially for youth to explore their full potential.

However, climate change impacts, especially in rural areas, can lead to a decline in youth employment opportunities, which in conjunction with other drivers can increment youth movement from a rural area to an urban one. 

IOM together with UNICEF, the Migration Youth and Children Platform of the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) and the International Youth Federation (IYF) are organizing a side event in the context of ECOSOC Youth Forum 2022 with the objective to better understand the links between migration, climate change and youth. It is also an opportunity to discuss how youth can contribute to addressing their needs in the context of migration, environment and climate change, especially slow onset processes, and how better to integrate their proposals in international, regional and local policy discussions on the topic. The event will also explore how to foster youth engagement in green activities that can build their resilience, accelerate climate action, and contribute to addressing the environmental drivers that compel them to move.


Welcoming remarks and moderator:

  • Iulia Elisabeta DUCA, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Panel discussion based on the guiding questions:

  • Julia BLOCHER, President of the International Youth Federation (IYF)
  • Vladislav KAIM, UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
  • Serge HOUNTON, Climate Change and Migration Focal Point at Migration Youth and Children Platform of Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY)
  • Solomon YEO, Campaign director of the youth-led organization Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change
  • Hassan MOWLID YASIN, Executive Director at Somali Greenpeace Association
  • Emmanuel GODLIVING MINJA, Tanzanian Chapter President - World Youth Parliament for Water

For more information on this event please contact: iduca@iom.int

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