In the past few years, many European countries have experienced a surge in arrivals of young migrants and asylum seekers, which has pushed their systems of care and support to the limit. Young newcomers are a particularly vulnerable group, due to their limited autonomy as well as their emotional and psychological vulnerability and often compounded by traumatic experiences in the case of young refugees. Many arrive in Europe unaccompanied, due to family loss or separation.
European and international institutions have repeatedly highlighted the crucial role local authorities play in young newcomers’ integration. In recent years, cities have produced relevant policy recommendations – for instance, in the framework of the Urban Agenda for the EU – and they have tested new approaches to reducing young migrants’ vulnerabilities while promoting their inclusion in local communities.
This document presents guiding principles and examples of policies/practices that local authorities can consider to improve the social and economic integration of young migrants. It draws mainly on the discussions from EUROCITIES working group on migration and integration in Toulouse in April 2019, where city officials from all over Europe reflected on obstacles, policy options, and long-term visions to make their cities more inclusive for young migrants and refugees. The guidelines are divided into three sections: education, employment, and social/civic integration.