Head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Monday called for joint efforts to enhance the safety of young migrant workers and respect for their rights and dignity on the occasion of International Youth Day.
"Today we acknowledge the positive contribution that millions of committed, talented and energetic young migrants make to development and the wellbeing of entire families and communities," said Guy Ryder.
"When youth migration takes place in conditions of freedom, dignity, equity and security, it can boost economic and social development both of countries of origin and destination," he said.
But the ILO head also highlighted the existing challenges, noting that many young migrants are easy prey and frequently get trapped in exploitative and abusive jobs, including forced labour, and too often, they become scapegoats for the shortcomings of economic and social systems in the same way as other migrants do.
The director-general appealed to countries of origin, on one hand, to step up their efforts to provide pre-departure information and training, regulate and monitor the enforcement of fair recruitment practices and ensure that their young migrants have access to adequate protection and on the other, host countries to ensure that they receive equal treatment and enjoy the same rights afforded to any other worker.
"Shaping effective policies for decent work for young people - at home and in the context of migration - requires the engagement of governments, employers' organizations and trade unions in social dialogue," he said.
Ryder also said that the United Nations General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development to be held in October 2013 is an important opportunity to advance towards a framework which can uphold the rights and interests of young migrant workers.