The situation of young migrants is an issue that encompasses numerous dimensions of the European socio-cultural and economic environment and is one that needs to be addressed in a coherent and effective way. Even though young migrants are a highly diversified group, the need for providing them with channels of integration and protecting them against all forms of discrimination is a natural result of the principles upheld by the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe has investigated this issue in several reports in recent years. However, the rapidly changing conditions of Europe necessitate a fresh analysis of this important topic. Taking into account the negative impact of the global economic crisis on European economies, young migrants are at greater risk of marginalisation and discrimination. Furthermore, the rising xenophobic and Islamophobic tendencies across Europe contribute to the vulnerability of these fragile groups. The combined effect of the economic crisis and xenophobia does not bode well for the future of young migrants or for Europe.
In this respect, the Parliamentary Assembly should address these issues by taking an overall view of the current policies of member States towards young migrants. It should initiate a debate on formulating more effective ways of integrating young immigrants into their host countries and protecting them from all forms of discrimination; particularly rising xenophobia. There is no doubt that Europe, which wishes to be a paragon of multiculturalism and combat discrimination in all forms, will be judged by how it treats young migrants.