The integration of young refugees: an important work to which international organizations and NGOs are committed.
Youth representing the majority of asylum seekers in UE
Young people are the people who make the most requests for asylums in EU countries. In fact, in 2015, 83% of asylum seekers were under 35 years old. 53% of the total number of asylum seekers, formulated for the first time, are young people between 18 and 34 years old. For minors, this was 29%. In view of these figures, EU member countries should implement integration and inclusion solutions for young people in this situation. Priority should be given to young refugees.
R*****e youth as facing two phases of transition
R*****e youth are vulnerable people facing a double phase of transition. On the one hand, a personal transformation due to their age and, on the other hand, the arrival in a new society of which they do not know the codes. They will have to face a world filled with uncertainty and in which they risk violence or discrimination. Added to this are the difficulties and privations they have experienced during their journey. In fact, a report published by UNICEF, entitled A right to be Heard: Listening to children and young people on the move, makes an alarming observation. For example, this survey shows that 38% of the participants were not helped by anyone, be it family, friends or institutions.
Recommendations made by various organizations to states that do not have mandatory values
Guidelines were adopted in the Council of Europe in 2019. Their aim is to guarantee additional temporary help after the age of 18 for young refugees. These guidelines are part of a Council of Europe action plan on the protection of r*****e and migrant children in Europe, which a priori seems promising for their future. Other international actors, such as UNICEF, are trying to put pressure on governments to improve the situation. Nevertheless, the problem here is that these recommendations are not binding, they are only recommendations. It is the states that have the sovereignty to adopt and implement concrete measures to help them.
The necessary reinforcement of Youth work by NGOs and international organizations
As a result of this observation, it will be necessary to promote and strengthen the Youth Work operated by international organizations and NGOs. Programs such as Erasmus+ fund projects and activities aimed at promoting the integration of migrants in all sectors of education and training. As its name suggests, Youth Work focuses on youth, including young refugees and other young people from third countries. It is thanks to this work that young refugees will be able to benefit from non-formal education aimed at facilitating the active participation of young people and their inclusion in their communities and in decision-making.
In spite of these actions, there is still a long way to go until young refugees benefit from full respect for their rights and concrete measures for their integration.
It has now been more than a year since the coronavirus 2019 appeared in Wuhan in Hubei province and then spread around the world. Governments have generally taken restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virus. The problem is that these restrictions will affect human rights in general. However, the repercussions will have a more serious impact on vulnerable people, especially women and girls.
A Pandemic with More Serious Impacts for Women and Girls
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting women at different levels.
First, since the beginning of the epidemic, there has been an increase in violence against women and girls. Indeed, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recognized that the current crisis is accompanied by such a resurgence of violence against women that we can speak of a “pandemic within the pandemic”. It is a question of the increase in so-called domestic violence but more generally the increase in sexist violence.
Also, at the United Nations General Assembly meetings, Israel notes that women at this time do not have access to sexual and reproductive health care. Indeed, overcrowded hospitals combined with travel restrictions make sexual and reproductive health services less accessible.
In addition, women suffer more severely from the effects of the economic crisis because their access to financial resources is more difficult and they often hold precarious jobs in the informal sector.
Finally, they are under-represented at the level of national management teams related to COVID-19 response and are therefore excluded from the decision-making system.
The search for solutions and opportunities to reduce gender inequalities.
The current crisis is indeed having a definite impact on women, but we can observe that it has created certain opportunities. Firstly, it has been highlighted during this crisis that women and girls have borne the disproportionate burden of care. Thus, this finding could allow the valorization of this work.
Second, States, aware of the lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, are working to expand access to these services. This could have a lasting effect on the exercise of women’s and girls’ right to health.
Then, with regard to solutions, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, recommended placing human rights at the heart of plans and policies. This begins with the involvement of women in the planning and decision-making phases of health crisis management. Secondly, it requires the support of organizations working for the access of women and girls to basic services and the protection of their rights. Next, gender-based violence must be addressed by strengthening prevention and protection services, hotlines and access to reliable information. Finally, unpaid care work performed by women must be recognized, the gender wage gap must be reduced, and fiscal and social protection policies must be adapted. This would allow for the economic empowerment of women and thus avoid the feminization of poverty.
Cyber harassment, a new phenomenon with no objective definition
With the multiplication of electronic tools, communication channels and access to information, new forms of violence are emerging like cyber harassment. Indeed, although these technologies have many advantages, they also have the potential to turn into a negative experience.
It is from the 1990s onwards that currents of thought relating to cyber violence and cyber harassment developed. Even today, defining these concepts remains difficult. There is a lack of conceptual clarity and is used to talk about all forms of online violence. There is no consensus on their definition. For example, N. Willard defines cyber harassment as “defamation, harassment or discrimination, disclosure of personal information or humiliating, aggressive, vulgar language”. She does not consider repetition to be a condition of cyber harassment as is the case for so-called traditional harassment.
Violence facilitated by anonymity affecting mostly young people
As young people are the category of people who use the Internet and new technologies the most, they are the first to be affected by this phenomenon. They are going to be victims of mockery, threats, insults, sexual assaults, ostracism, rumours, dissemination of humiliating images, lynching… This can happen through different means such as e-mails, text message, instant messaging or social networks.
The particularity of this form of violence is that the aggressor will feel safe, he will dare more than if he had the victim in front of him. The fact of being somewhat anonymous has a disinhibiting effect on the aggressors. Moreover, the negative impact of this violence on the victim is invisible to the aggressor. In this sense, he will not be able to develop any form of sensitivity or empathy towards the victim.
The need for appropriate prevention
Cyberbullying will first of all have psychological consequences for young people. The victim will feel guilty, powerless and devalued. As a result, the victim will lose self-confidence and develop psychological disorders. These may include stress, anxiety, bad moods, shame, school or social phobia or depression. These disorders generally lead to physical problems such as sleep disorders, memory loss, nervousness, dizziness, eating disorders or even bodily mutilation.
Very often, cyberstalkers are young people in difficulty who have a bad relationship with their parents or teachers and who themselves have this dual status (victim, aggressor). It is therefore essential that both the victim and the perpetrator are helped by the parents and the school. It is important to set up a prevention system. This should be done through the action of parents as well as the school. The national education system has a fundamental role to play in transmitting the values associated with responsible use of the Internet. Teachers must therefore inform pupils and raise their awareness of the good practices to be adopted on the Internet. Parents will also be responsible for this prevention and it is up to them to remind children of the rules of common sense, the principles of precaution and respect for oneself and others.C