The voice of young refugees in their digital needs

New industries and various new products and services are being created within the digital economy. Adopting new technologies also creates well-paying jobs for professionals of diverse backgrounds, translating into improved quality of life, increased connectedness, and other auxiliary benefits to citizens.

As digital technologies become the cornerstone of our daily activities, governments, businesses, and individuals must adapt to this new reality.

Young people (compared with other age cohorts) are sufficiently agile to take advantage of digital transformations because of their high ambition for ICT-related employment, internet access, and digital skills. An example of this is in digital platforms, where a majority of workers on both online and location-based platforms are younger than 35.

However, deep restrictions currently exist, preventing young people from accessing the opportunities and promises of the digital economy. At the macro level, these include low internet access, weak technology infrastructure and unreliable power supplies, lack of suitable payment systems, and lack of regulation. The individual/micro level includes low education levels and IT skills, lack of experience, low self-efficacy, discrimination and economic exclusion, informality, and exploitation.

For young refugees, the challenges are even more pronounced. The highest levels of displacement on record are taking place around the world. In recent years, forced displacement has increased in scale and complexity. While forcibly displaced persons experience specific vulnerabilities, including psychological trauma, lack of opportunity, and protection risks, host communities struggle to pursue their development efforts in an environment that has been transformed by a large influx of newcomers.