Talent is universal, but opportunity – sadly, is not. Many children and young people on the move grow up deprived of an education, learning-to-earning opportunities, and the long-term benefits they afford. For adolescent girls and young women, the gulf between aspirations and opportunities can be even greater.
Only when reached, engaged and equipped with the skills they need, can millions of migrant and displaced girls and young women fully unlock their potential – to become innovators, job creators and pillars of families and communities around the world.
To listen to the voices of young people on the move and learn from their ideas, UNICEF launched a U-Report poll on aspirations and barriers to learning and earning, with a focus on the different experiences of adolescent girls and young women – on the move and from host communities.
Co-created with young people themselves, the poll reached over 42,000 respondents globally, capturing the opinions of more than 8,000 young people on the move, aged 14 to 34, including migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced youth, in 117 countries.
Here's what we learned.
Girls and young women on the move face a greater number of challenges in finding jobs and livelihoods, compared to boys and young men.
Being largely invisible – statistically and politically – and often hard to reach, migrant and displaced youth face numerous barriers to accessing education and jobs, including lack of resources, persistent insecurity, social tensions, and discrimination. Almost all challenges were reported more frequently among girls and young women than boys and young men in the poll.
Adolescent girls and young women on the move are more likely to lack career coaching opportunities, have limited knowledge to start a business, and struggle with qualifications that don’t fit the job market.