Leaving the Country in Darkness: Youth Departure for Uncertain Future


 Leaving the Country in Darkness: Youth Departure for Uncertain Future 


Youth Departure for Uncertain Future 


The dynamics of international migration have undergone a notable transformation in recent years, marked by a shift in the destinations sought by aspiring migrants. While the traditional patterns of migration from countries in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region to neighboring areas have persisted, a significant trend has emerged with an increasing number of young individuals gravitating towards more economically developed parts of the world, including Europe, North America, and Australia.

At the heart of this evolving migration landscape is the universal quest for a better life. Factors such as persistent poverty, limited employment opportunities, and the challenges posed by escalating food and fuel prices have long been catalysts for individuals seeking alternative prospects beyond their home countries. Historically, migration routes were often regional, with movements from Central Asia to the Russian Federation, Pacific Island nations to Australia, and internal migrations within the vast expanse of Asia itself.

However, the contemporary narrative of international migration is characterized by a growing wave of individuals setting their sights on destinations known for affording not only economic prosperity but also avenues for higher education and enhanced career prospects. The allure of a brighter future has become a powerful force, propelling millions of young minds to embark on journeys that transcend geographical and cultural boundaries.

Countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines have traditionally been recognized as significant contributors to the global labor migration pool. Yet, the current trend suggests a widening spectrum of source countries, as the aspirations of the younger generation transcend regional confines. This shift underscores the global nature of contemporary migration, as dreams and ambitions fuel a dispersion of individuals towards new horizons.

The evolving patterns of international migration reflect not only the socio-economic disparities that persist across the globe but also the interconnectedness of aspirations in an increasingly globalized world. As individuals seek to break free from the constraints of their immediate circumstances, the pursuit of a better life has become a driving force that reshapes the traditional contours of migration, opening up new avenues for exploration and opportunity on an international scale.

 The Impact of Conflict and Crisis:

1. Profound Impact of Conflict and Crisis:

   Conflict, political instability, and environmental changes wield a profound influence on global migration dynamics, reshaping the destinies of millions worldwide. These factors operate as powerful catalysts, propelling individuals and families to seek alternative landscapes in the pursuit of safety, security, and a semblance of normalcy.

   The repercussions of conflict are far-reaching, extending beyond mere territorial disputes. Political instability creates an environment marked by uncertainty and fear, prompting communities to consider migration as a viable escape from the turmoil that engulfs their homelands. Simultaneously, environmental changes amplify the urgency to relocate, as the degradation of ecosystems, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels threaten livelihoods and homes.

2. Alarming Displacement Figures in Asia-Pacific:

   The year 2022 witnessed an alarming surge in displacement, with an unprecedented 31.6 million individuals uprooted in the Asia and Asia-Pacific region alone, as reported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This staggering figure stands as a stark testament to the severity of conflicts and crises, underscoring their pervasive impact on the demographic landscape.

   The Asia-Pacific region, traditionally diverse and vibrant, now grapples with the human fallout of these challenges. Communities, once rooted in their cultural and geographical contexts, find themselves dispersed and displaced, reflecting the profound disruption that conflicts and crises bring to the social fabric.

3. Environmental Changes as Catalysts for Migration:

   Beyond the human-made conflicts, environmental changes emerge as potent forces compelling migration. The altering climate, characterized by unpredictable weather patterns and environmental degradation, prompts people to relocate in the face of threats to their very livelihoods and the sanctity of their homes.

   Rising sea levels, desertification, and extreme weather events disrupt traditional modes of living, pushing individuals to seek new lands that promise stability and a sustainable future. This environmental impetus for migration adds a layer of complexity to the broader narrative of global movement.

4. Journeys in Search of Stability:

   The journeys undertaken by those affected by conflict and crisis are, more often than not, perilous odysseys marked by uncertainty and danger. Faced with the upheaval of their lives and an absence of stability in their home countries, individuals embark on journeys that traverse borders and span continents in search of refuge.

   These migrations, driven by the innate human desire for stability and opportunities, exemplify the resilience of those facing adversity. The pursuit of a more stable and secure existence becomes a compelling force, motivating individuals to overcome the challenges posed by unfamiliar terrains and bureaucratic hurdles.

5. High Human Cost of Safer Life Pursuit:

   The quest for a safer life often exacts a toll that extends beyond the emotional and psychological realms. The physical and social costs are starkly evident in the alarming statistic of approximately four thousand deaths recorded annually along migration routes since 2014.

   Whether navigating treacherous seas, traversing inhospitable terrains, or falling victim to criminal networks during illegal border crossings, the human cost underscores the risks associated with the pursuit of safety and security. These casualties represent not only lives lost but also the inherent dangers individuals face when compelled to leave their homes in search of a better and more secure future.

6. Vulnerabilities in Illegal Migration Routes:

   Those opting for illegal paths to Europe or the Americas expose themselves to a myriad of heightened vulnerabilities. The clandestine nature of these journeys subjects migrants to political, religious, or ethnic discrimination, as well as making them vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual exploitation become haunting realities for those navigating these illicit routes. The decision to take such paths, often driven by desperation and the pursuit of a better life, plunges individuals into situations where their vulnerabilities are ruthlessly exploited.

7. Harsh Conditions Shadowing Dreams:

   The dream of a better life is shadowed by the harsh conditions that characterize illegal migration routes. From perilous sea crossings to grueling journeys across unforgiving terrains, individuals face immense challenges and dangers. The physical and mental toll exacted by these conditions casts a somber shadow on the aspirations that initially fueled the decision to seek an alternative life. The realization of the harsh realities along these routes becomes a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in pursuit of a more secure and prosperous future.

8. Challenges Faced Upon Reaching Destination Countries:

   Migrants, upon reaching their destination countries, often encounter a new set of challenges. Limited access to social services and rights relegates them to the fringes of society. Discrimination and marginalization become harsh realities, further complicating the process of integration. The initial hope for a fresh start in a new land is tempered by the harshness of the socio-political environment, leading to a struggle for acceptance and inclusion in their adopted home.

9. Exploitation and Abuse in Vulnerable Situations:

   The vulnerability of migrants, especially those who have taken illegal routes, exposes them to ongoing exploitation and abuse even after reaching their destination. Exploitative working conditions, human rights violations, and the perpetuation of cycles of hardship become entrenched in the lives of those who sought refuge. The challenges extend beyond physical dangers, encompassing systemic injustices that hinder their ability to rebuild their lives in a foreign land.

10. Crucial Role of International Migrants:

   Despite the risks and challenges, international migrants play a pivotal role in supporting their families in their home countries. Through the regular remittance of funds, they contribute significantly to better housing, nutrition, and education for their loved ones. This financial lifeline becomes a crucial link between the diaspora and their roots, sustaining familial well-being and illustrating the enduring ties that connect individuals across geographical distances.

11. Establishment in Host Countries:

   Over time, some migrants manage to establish themselves in host countries, contributing to the diversity and vibrancy of their adopted nations. This process involves not only economic integration but also social and cultural assimilation. Those who obtain permanent residence and citizenship become contributors to the multifaceted tapestry of their host societies, bringing unique perspectives and enriching the collective narrative of their new home.

12. Aspirations of the Younger Generation:

   The evolving landscape of migration is increasingly shaped by the aspirations of the younger generation. Despite the inherent risks, the resilience and determination of young individuals continue to drive global migration. Their aspirations for a brighter future demonstrate a commitment to overcoming adversity and creating opportunities in the face of global challenges.

13. Need for Comprehensive Approaches:

   As conflicts persist and environmental changes unfold, the need for comprehensive and empathetic approaches to address the challenges faced by displaced individuals worldwide becomes more urgent. Such approaches should encompass humanitarian aid, policy reforms, and long-term strategies that foster inclusive integration, advocate for the rights of migrants, and address the root causes of conflicts and environmental crises. Only through these multifaceted efforts can societies hope to build a more compassionate and sustainable future for those seeking refuge and a brighter tomorrow.

 The Aspiring Young Migrants:

1. Economic Instability and Joblessness:

   – Many young migrants face economic instability and joblessness in their home countries despite possessing qualifications. This lack of employment opportunities often serves as a significant push factor, compelling them to seek better prospects abroad.

2. Financial Insecurity:

   -The financial burden associated with migration poses a considerable challenge. Families may need to sell valuable assets, such as land and property, to fund their children’s migration. This financial strain can create long-term repercussions for both the migrants and their families.

3. Political Uncertainty and Social Upheaval:

   – The prevailing political uncertainty and the fear of social upheaval in home countries contribute to the decision to migrate. Young individuals seek stability and security in foreign lands as a response to the unpredictable political climates and social challenges in their countries of origin.

4. Inadequate Healthcare:

   – Limited access to quality healthcare is a concern for aspiring youth migrants. The prospect of better healthcare facilities abroad motivates individuals to seek opportunities in countries where healthcare is more advanced and accessible.

5. Fear of Injustice:

   – Concerns about justice and fair treatment can drive young people to leave their home countries. Perceived or experienced injustices, whether related to legal or social systems, can contribute to a sense of insecurity and prompt the decision to migrate.

6. Environmental Issues:

   – Environmental challenges, including pollution and climate change, contribute to the motivation to migrate. The degradation of the environment and its impact on livelihoods and living conditions prompt individuals to seek environments perceived as more sustainable and conducive to a better quality of life.

7. Educational Opportunities:

   – Limited educational opportunities in home countries drive youth migration for educational purposes. The pursuit of higher education abroad, often perceived as offering better quality and a broader range of academic options, becomes a significant driver for migration.

8. Asylum and Legal Challenges:

   – Aspiring youth migrants may face legal challenges related to seeking asylum, especially when taking irregular migration routes. Navigating complex legal processes and dealing with the potential risks of illegal migration contribute to the overall challenges faced by these individuals.

9. Exploitation and Discrimination:

   – Those who opt for illegal paths to reach their desired destinations are vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination. This includes risks such as human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual exploitation, exposing them to significant physical and emotional harm.

10. Social Integration and Marginalization:

    – Upon reaching their destination countries, migrants, especially those who have taken irregular paths, often encounter challenges in social integration. Discrimination, limited social services, and living on the fringes of society contribute to feelings of marginalization and alienation.

Understanding these multifaceted challenges is crucial for developing comprehensive policies and support systems that address the diverse needs of aspiring youth migrants, ensuring their safety, well-being, and successful integration into their new communities.

 The increasing number of young people leaving their home
countries in search of a brighter future is a complex issue. Factors such as
economic instability, limited job opportunities, environmental concerns, and
the desire for better healthcare and justice systems all contribute to this
growing trend. These individuals aspire to overcome the darkness and
uncertainty they face in their home countries.

 It is important to recognize that the decision to migrate is
a personal one, often driven by the pursuit of a better life and greater
opportunities. As the number of aspiring young migrants continues to rise,
addressing the root causes of this trend, both in their home countries and in
destination countries, becomes increasingly important. Providing opportunities
for education, economic growth, and social development within their home
countries can help mitigate the urge to leave in search of a better life.

 At the same time, destination countries should be prepared
to address the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasing number
of young migrants. This includes offering legal pathways to migration,
providing support and services to facilitate integration, and combating
exploitation and discrimination.

 The trend of young people leaving their home countries is
not limited to a single region; it is a global issue that requires careful
consideration and action. Only through a comprehensive and collaborative
approach can we address the aspirations and challenges faced by these aspiring
young migrants.

The aspiration of many of these young people who leave their
homeland is driven by the fear of unemployment. According to the “Global Employment
Trends for Youth 2022” report by the International Labor Organization, the
youth unemployment rate in Bangladesh stands at 10.6%. This, coupled with the
information from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, which states
that 47 out of every 100 university graduates in Bangladesh are unemployed,
paints a concerning picture. According to ActionAid Bangladesh and SANEM, the
majority of young people in Bangladesh face economic and social risks, with 78%
believing that education will not lead to employment. For impoverished
students, this rate climbs to 90%. A survey conducted by the Bangladesh
Institute of Development Studies indicates that 66% of college graduates
affiliated with the national university are unemployed. Consequently, many academically
gifted students opt to go abroad to further their education, ultimately
securing a better source of income.


 In conclusion, the phenomenon of young people leaving their home countries, including Bangladesh, in pursuit of a better life abroad is a complex and multifaceted issue. It transcends mere considerations of education and job opportunities, encompassing a wide range of professionals and individuals from various walks of life. Entrepreneurs, administrative professionals, engineers, artists, university professors, and researchers are among those opting to settle abroad, drawn by the promise of improved living standards, job prospects, personal safety, and a brighter future for their children.

While economic factors play a significant role, the decision to migrate is also influenced by broader considerations such as personal and social security, civic rights, environmental concerns, and more. The uncertainty about the future and a perceived lack of opportunities in their home country serve as compelling factors propelling these individuals to seek greener pastures abroad.

The consequences of this migration trend are noteworthy. The Bangladeshi diaspora, despite being physically distant, remains connected through remittances sent back home, contributing to the well-being of their families and the nation’s economy. However, the increasing departure of academically inclined individuals raises critical questions about the country’s future leadership and progress.

To address these challenges, it is imperative for Bangladesh and other nations facing similar trends to formulate comprehensive policies and initiatives. The focus should be on harnessing the capabilities of these young individuals, encouraging them to channel their skills and knowledge for the development of their homeland. A proactive approach is needed to create an environment that not only retains valuable talent but also provides opportunities for these individuals to contribute meaningfully to their home countries.

Without such inclusive plans, there is a genuine risk of brain drain, where the nation loses its skilled workforce to other countries, impacting both economic contributions and the emergence of future leaders. Balancing the aspirations of the youth with sustainable development goals is crucial for ensuring that countries like Bangladesh can retain and nurture their talent, fostering a prosperous future within their own borders.


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