Every year, thousands of Somaliland youth are either tortured, imprisoned, or raped while making their journey to Europe in search of a better life for them or their family.
Youth illegal migration is and has been a matter of concern for the last 7 years. There has been numerous efforts made by CSOs and the government to stop young immigrants from moving out of the country such as border restrictions with Ethiopia, which had some level effect on the number of Somaliland youth leaving the country. However, in 2016, the number of youth who illegally migrated to Europe has dramatically increased as new alternative routes has opened. This year was tragically marked with the death of 500 young Somalis from all the regions of Somaliland died in the Mediterranean Sea while making their journey to Europe.
In response to this issue, SOYDAVO has organized a public event entitle ‘’ Illegal Youth Migration: From Economic and Islamic Perspective’’ where Burao’s local councilors, school and university students were invited. This event was held at the New Burao Hotel in Burao. A prominent Islamic Scholar and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Najaax, Dr. Sheikh Hassan Sh. Ali attended this public event as the main speaker along with Mr. Mohamed Hussein Aideed. The governor of Togdheer Mr. Ibrahim Qabo was also invited but due to urgent work, he was not able to attend the event. SOYDAVO’s executive director Mr. Mohamed Guleid welcomed and thanked the guests and participants, presenting the event topic as well as introducing the main speakers for this event.
Dr. Hassan speech emphasized the problem of youth migration in the country and the role of Islam in youth migrations. He reminded the audience that Islam prohibited a person to put voluntarily himself in danger or in a situation where it would get hurt and be harmed.
He has taken the time to mentioned the numerous risks associated with this kind of migration and how especially women are vulnerable to multiple form of violence during this migration. He emphasized primarily that migration does not solve any social problems that youth face today but rather increased it. He advised the youth to remain in the country, that there is room for fortunes and success in this country. Dr. Hassan Sh. discussed the social and mostly the cultural implications of migration as many young immigrants must face several cultural shocks during the journey that may be in contradiction with their own believes and cultures.
Finally, Dr. Hassan thanked SOYDAVO’s for its efforts on bringing the government officials, civil society organizations and Islamic scholars together to discuss this pressing issue of youth illegal migration.
The second speaker, Mr. Mohamed Hussein Aideed pointed out during his speech of the terrible effect of migration on the economic development and growth of the country. He stated that every year, thousands of youth leave with their talents and potentials that the country need to develop. These young talented people are the workforce and labor that drive the economic development of Somaliland.
Economic growth and productivity decline with the reduction of its high-skilled workforce.
Mr. Mohamed Hussein Aideed pointed lastly, how the remittances from the Somali’s Diaspora destabilizes the country macro economy and increase unemployment for the ones left behind.
Mr. Abdiresak Aar, the youngest member of the local government of Burao and last speaker of this event advised youth not to migrate and leave in their departure their parents and families in anger, depression and stress. He reminded that a large number of parents are shocked and traumatized by stories of hundreds of migrant dying on this journey. He promised that the government would ensure the improvements of employment opportunities and job creation for Somali’s youth in the region and in the country.
Finally, the participants were very happy with the topic and the information is regarding the youth migration from Islamic and Economic View. The event was an opportunity for the youth to understand the social and economical consequences of illegal youth migration and human trafficking.