A Future In The Balance

Authors
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) & King Hussein Research Foundation (KHRF) & the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC)
Geographic Area
International
National
Year Of Publish
2016
Funded by
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
Type of research
Qualitative
Research Area
Policy, Programmatic/systems,
Abstract


 

The study confirmed that across the Middle East a whole generation of young people from Syria and refugee-hosting countries is losing hope in the future.

Living in insecurity and often in conditions of extreme poverty, they are faced with many barriers to accessing education and economic opportunities. They have only very limited chances to engage in social and civic activities and feel disempowered and frustrated. The human capital of this generation – so crucial for the future of the region – risks being lost.

Refugee youth  faced with multiple restrictions in all areas of their lives, both refugee youth and those from host communities often feel a sense of despondency and disengagement.

While each country has its specificities, NRC’s research found that most Syrian refugee youth who were interviewed are considering onward movement because of harassment, the lack of residency status and the lack of education and job opportunities.

 Local  community youth often shared similar concerns. “There’s no future for us” and “I have lost all hope” were common themes among young refugees in all countries covered by the survey.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the lack of viable and recognized routes to reach countries outside the Middle East means that many are turning to smugglers. This costs large sums of money and sometimes lives. More than 1 million arrivals to Europe by sea alone were recorded in 2015, 53 per cent of them Syrian nationals and many of these were young men1.

Some Of The Recommendations:

- Much more support needs to be given to youth to allow them to regain control over their futures and develop into educated, productive and engaged members of society, If we are to avoid a lost generation.

- Support and fund comprehensive national youth strategies that address youth disempowerment and include systematic youth engagement and participation in social and political processes.

- Advocate for and support refugee-hosting countries to review and amend entry, registration and/or residency regulations for young refugees and IDPs, and their families.

- Support host governments to significantly scale up formal education funding and  responses, particularly for youth, including vulnerable host community youth, so they can access accredited secondary and consideration of initiatives that promote “Syrians working for Syrians” including as employees of INGOs.

- Develop comprehensive national youth strategies that address youth  is empowerment and include systematic youth engagement and participation in social and political processes.

- Establish more flexible procedures that enable refugee and IDP youth, who have come of age in displacement, to prove their identity when they do not have official IDs and cannot produce originals or copies of official documents, and remove punitive measures in cases where such documentation is absent.

- Engage with national governments in developing comprehensive national youth strategies that address youth disempowerment and include systematic youth engagement and participation in social and political processes.

- Review and amend entry, registration and/or residency regulations to ensure young refugees and IDPs, and their families, can obtain and renew legal documentation through clear, affordable and consistent processes.

- Ensure youth and their families have access to assistance and services irrespective of their

registration or residency stat.

 

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