By Jacky Sutton, UN Integrated Electoral Assistance Team 

Every year in Iraq about 800,000 young people become eligible to vote. The challenge for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) is to educate these first-time voters about elections, motivate them to check their registration data so that they can exercise their right to the franchise and, perhaps most importantly, engage with and listen to them to establish a collaborative relationship that can endure beyond the immediate electoral period. 

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Thursday, 24 October 2013 16:03


“Invest in youth today to transform the world tomorrow” – Ban Ki-moon


Working for youth is one of the five priorities identified by Ban Ki-moon in his five-year action plan for his second term as UN Secretary-General.  Mr. Ban is urging a youth focus for all existing UN programmes on employment, entrepreneurship, political inclusion, citizenship, protection of rights, education and reproductive health. In early 2013, the Secretary-General appointed the first ever UN Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, a Jordanian national whose youth activism in the Middle East region will ensure that he has a special understanding of the challenges facing youth in Iraq.

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Peace brought together artists and politicians today at the Council of Representatives (CoR).  A group of young Iraqi artists, sponsored by UNAMI, offered a mural representing their hope for a peaceful Iraq to political leaders, as a reminder of their commitment to peace.

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By Tigist Girma Gebresilassie, UNHCR

Meet Haliz, a 16-year-old Syrian refugee girl living in Domiz camp in Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Haliz, together with her parents and younger brothers, came to Iraq from war-torn Syria five months ago. She dropped out of school in the 11th grade, when she fled from her hometown of Qamishlio.

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Youth have always made up a large component of the population covered by UNHCR’s mandate and activities. As refugee youth needs are diverse, multiple programmes – including child protection, education, livelihood and civic engagement – have traditionally incorporated youth. In fact, in a recent global UNHCR survey [hyperlink, see link in footnotes], more than 70 percent of UNHCR field staff reported that they worked directly or indirectly with youth across various sectors. [1]

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Wednesday, 02 October 2013 10:13


IOM directly supports young migrants and youths in communities affected by migration through various nationwide programs. Under the flagship U.S. Government-funded Community Revitalization Program (CRP), IOM focuses on communities with high numbers of IDPs and returnees in order to ease the pressures attached to migration inflows as well as to assist the integration of these vulnerable populations into the local community.

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Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:09


In January 2013, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the British Government, began to answer an important question: what do youth in Iraq think about migration? With support from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, IOM surveyed nearly 3,000 potential migrants, irregular migrants, and returnees in Iraq, as well as a small percentage of Iraqi migrants living irregularly in the UK. IOM focused on young males, between the ages of 18 and 35, and derived insights into youth perspectives on migration in Iraq.

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The UN in Iraq marked International Youth Day with a call for action. “It is sad that many young Iraqis see a visa to emigrate as their best option for a better life,” said Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Gyorgy Busztin.

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Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:01


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on International Youth Day, 12 August 2013

This year’s observance of International Youth Day focuses on the issue of youth migration.  Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent, yet too little is known about their struggles and experiences.

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In his final address to the UN Security Council in New York on 16 July 2013, Mr. Martin Kobler, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, dedicated a special section of his speech to the challenges faced by Iraqi youth.


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