Children, Adolescents, Youth and Migration: Access to Education and the Challenge of Social Cohesion

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1 Children, Adolescents, Youth and Migration: Access to Education and the Challenge of Social Cohesion Turning Migration and Equity Challenges into Opportunities UNICEF s Global Policy Initiative on Children, Adolescents, Youth and Migration Presentation by UNICEF Division of Policy and Strategy and Programme Division

2 Outline I. Facts and Issues: Children of Migrants and their Educational Outcomes II. Why is Education Key for Immigrant Social Integration? III. Labor Market Performances in Countries of Destination IV. Migration s Impact on Education and Social Cohesion in Countries of Origin V. Policy Recommendations and Way Forward: Challenges and Opportunities

3 I. Facts and Issues: Children of Migrants and their Educational Outcomes

4 A Major Portion of Young International Migrants are within Compulsory Education International migrants between 0 and 4 years of age International migrants between 5 and 9 years of age International migrants between 10 and 15 years of age International migrants between 15 and 19 years of age Note: Includes foreign born and foreign citizens. Foreign born refers to persons born outside the country of enumeration. Foreign citizen refers to persons who do not have the citizenship of the country of enumeration. Scales are drawn using Jenks natural breaks to reflect the nature of the distributions. Source:

5 Students with an Immigrant Background in 2000 and Change in the percentage of students with an immigrant background between 2000 and 2009 Percentage of students with an immigrant background Hong Kong-China - Liechtenstein + New Zealand + Canada + Switzerland + Australia o Israel - United States + Germany o Belgium o France o Russian Federation + Sweden o Spain + Greece + Denmark + Ireland + Norway + Italy + Portugal + Latvia - Argentina o Finland + Iceland + Czech Republic + Hungary o Mexico - Brazil + Albania o Bulgaria o Chile o Peru o Romania o Japan o Indonesia o Poland higher than lower than 2000 No statistically significant difference 95% confidence level + - o Note: Countries are ranked in descending order of percentage of students with an immigrant background in Source: OECD PISA 2009 database, Table V.4.4

6 Immigrant Background and Reading Performance in 2000 and 2009

7 Performance differences among first-generation students, by age of arrival

8 Home Language and Reading Performance in 2000 and Students who speak the language of instruction at home perform better Score point difference Czech Republic o Indonesia o Australia o Israel o Spain o Latvia o Canada - Thailand o Albania o Portugal o Ireland + United States - Belgium + Switzerland - Russian Federation o New Zealand o Norway o Germany - Hong Kong-China o Brazil o Liechtenstein o Finland o Italy o Denmark o Romania + Iceland o France o Sweden o Greece o Mexico o Bulgaria o Peru o Note: Statistically significant score point differences are marked in a darker tone. Countries are ranked in descending order of the performance difference between students who speak at home a language that is different from the language of assessment and those who speak at home the language of assessment in Source: OECD PISA 2009 database, Table V.4.5

9 Reading performance by immigrant status, before and after accounting for SES background

10 What does the data tell us in terms of social cohesion? Investing in immigrant children is key to ensuring their productive adaptability, social integration and human development. Socioeconomic factors affecting immigrant children s educational performance must be considered when designing education policies to ensure their social cohesion and realization of their socio-economic and cultural rights. The comparison between native-born and foreign-born children of migrants shows that mastering the language of assessment is key for social integration.

11 II. Why is Education Key for Immigrant Social Integration?

12 education is key to ensuring that children become integrated, successful and productive citizens in the host country.. (2008, EU Green Paper) Having equitable access to education means that all children irrespective of their nationality have an equal opportunity to realize their rights, to survive, develop and reach to full potential, without discrimination, bias or favouritism. Why is education key to immigrant social integration? Equitable access to education: Supports effective school-work transitions towards sustainable growth in a context of ageing populations and the knowledge economy (economic reason). Enhances integration through the promotion of socioeconomic mobility (social reason). Promotes positive encounters that would not happen otherwise therefore reducing the likelihood of discrimination and xenophobia (cultural reason).

13 Social Cohesion is a Shared Responsibility Immigrant integration is a two-way street Recipient societies have to be willing to accept newcomers Migrants must be willing to incorporate into societies of destination Immigrant integration is not homogeneous, it is shaped by recipient societies, State support in terms of basic services and protection, the cultural and social needs of immigrants and immigrants willingness to assimilate in new societies.

14 III. Labor Market Performances in Countries of Destination

15 Unemployment Rates of Children of Immigrants and Children of Natives aged and not in education, by gender, around 2007 Source: Thomas Liebig and Sarah Widmaier. (2009) Children of Immigrants in the Labour Markets of EU And OECD Countries: An Overview, OECD, Paris.

16 Percentage-point differences in the employment rates between children of natives and the children of immigrants and the impact of qualification structure, aged and not in education, around 2007 Source: Thomas Liebig and Sarah Widmaier. (2009) Children of Immigrants in the Labour Markets of EU And OECD Countries: An Overview, OECD, Paris.

17 Percentage-point differences in the employment rates between children of natives and the children of immigrants and the impact of qualification structure, aged and not in education, around 2007 Source: Thomas Liebig and Sarah Widmaier. (2009) Children of Immigrants in the Labour Markets of EU And OECD Countries: An Overview, OECD, Paris.

18 IV. Migration s Impact on Education and Social Cohesion in Countries of Origin

19 The Other Face of Migration: The Left-Behind Migration s impact on Education and Social Cohesion in Countries of Origin Positive impacts Negative impacts Remittances could impact educational choices via an income effect by easing households budget constraints and changing preferences. In Guatemala, remittances have led to better access to education, increased consumption, as well as, increased access to information technologies that feed into educational processes( UNICEF, 2011). In The Philippines, remittances were used to send children to private schools which were considered better than public schools (UNICEF, 2005). In Morocco, remittances sent from migrant workers to their families have led to increased education outcomes and more balanced diets for children(unicef, 2009). Adult migration and remittances may impact the demand for domestic child labor. In Mexico, remittances negatively affect school attendance among 16 to 18 year old girls. Evidence suggests a substitution effect between house-work and schooling(mckenzie and Rapoport, 2006). The prospect of migration could reduce adolescents and youth incentives to pursue their education (McKenzie and Rapoport, 2006). For example, in rural Mexico, children of migrants are more likely to migrate (irregularly) themselves to the United States, where the returns to human capital for an undocumented alien are very low (McKenzie and Rapoport, 2006). Remittances can also contribute to economic dependence and increase exposure to risky behaviors. For example, several UNICEF Country reports have shown in Mexico and Ecuador that children of migrants receiving remittances were involved in delinquent behaviors(i.e. gangs, drug and alcohol abuse)(unicef 2007).

20 Policy Recommendations and Way Forward: Challenges and Opportunities Ensure equity in access and opportunities -a shared responsibility between Governments and migrants. Curricula changes have to reflect new cultural realities experienced by destination countries. Promote language immersion programs both for migrant children and their parents.

21 Policy Recommendations and Way Forward: Challenges and Opportunities Tackle structural inequities in terms of access to education, school funding and educational quality (migrants vs. native born) to ensure basic rights of migrants considering age and gender dimensions. Promote solutions at the local level through the active involvement of local authorities in addressing the needs of immigrants in terms of integration and social cohesion. Enhance cultural awareness between migrants and local communities. Promote meaningful youth participation in initiatives to ensure better outcomes for migrant communities and host communities.

22 The role of young migrants in society has to be framed within the existing patterns related to the participation and contribution of young people to society. Young people are indeed a major source of social change, they are the ones actively promoting improvements and holding ideals, and they have the energy and commitment to redress injustice (Perolini, 2009)

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