The world is their oyster

The next generation could be a lot more mobile than previous ones. According to a poll organised by the BBC World Service, almost 80% of 15-17 year olds believe they should be able to move wherever they want in the world.

by BBC

Three thousand people took part in the survey, and two-thirds say they would migrate to improve their economic prospects. Mobility was seen as so crucial that one in seven said they would risk their lives to achieve it.

But Hania Zlotnik, director of the population division of the department of economic and social affairs at the United Nations, says that the data is evidence of aspiration, not desperation. "The last 50-60 years have been a global economic success and this desire to be mobile reflects this," she says.

But the nature of mobility is likely to change. "People are now looking at moving on a shorter or temporary basis to find jobs to get new skills. The idea is less people leaving their country of origin forever and settling in the host country, but more that people are circulating," says Jean-Philippe Chauzy from the International Organisation for Migration.

Young people were also split on the notion of integration: half thought it was a good idea to integrate into a new society but the other half thought it was better to keep things separate, a split which revealed some interesting east-west differences. Young westerners erred for integration while young ‘easterners' were in favour of separation.

Source: Youth poll offers contradictions
Matt McGrath
BBC website, 04/12/2006

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/6203054.stm

Review by Emilie Filou

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