The dwindling socio-economic and political opportunities in the SADC region is driving youth migration to European countries in search for greener pastures, the Southern African Youth Solidarity Network (SAYSN) has said.
In a statement, (SAYSN) said governments in the region should provide solutions to young people to address their problems. The organization said youths need equal opportunities, platforms to advocate for their rights and access to quality education in their respective countries. If these issues are address, their migration will be reduced.
“High unemployment rates, limited job opportunities, and economic disparities contribute significantly to youth migration. Young people often seek better economic prospects, higher wages, and improved living conditions in other countries. Political instability, conflicts, and human rights violations in certain Southern African countries can force young people to flee their homes in search of safety and stability.
“Limited access to quality education, vocational training, and skills development programs can push youth to migrate in pursuit of better educational opportunities and skills enhancement. Southern Africa is vulnerable to climate change impacts, including droughts, floods, and food insecurity. Environmental degradation and natural disasters can displace young people, compelling them to migrate to more habitable regions. Rapid population growth, coupled with inadequate resources and infrastructure, can exacerbate social and economic challenges, leading to youth migration.”
“We encourage governments to uphold international human rights standards, repeal or reform laws that restrict civic space, and create an enabling environment for youth participation and civil society engagement. They should invest in quality education, skills development, and employment opportunities for young people, particularly those from marginalized communities, to enhance their prospects within their home countries.
“Collaborations should also be fostered among Southern African countries to share best practices, harmonize policies and develop regional frameworks that promote youth rights, mobility, and socioeconomic development. Support should also be given to youth-led organizations and platforms that advocate for the protection of civic freedoms, participation, and the rights of young migrants,” reads the statement.
The organisation said migration poses a lot of disadvantages to countries where young people leave because they will be left to deal with problems like brain drainage of skilled youths. The safety of young people who leave their countries are also at risk as they face discrimination, human trafficking, human rights violations, and mental and psychosocial challenges.