A lost generation of migrants?

A family of refugees steps off a boat or arrives at a border. Should they be allowed to enter? This question provokes passionate responses in countries around the world these days.

But there's a second set of questions: if they are admitted, where will they live? How will they learn a new language? How will their children be educated? Will they have access to the training needed to get jobs to help them support themselves?

In short, how can they be integrated into society?

These questions are at the heart of a new report from the EU, which warns of a potential "lost generation" of migrants, people who enter Europe to build better lives but then find little chance of integrating into society.


Between 2015 and 2018, nearly two million people were granted protection within the European Union. Some were refugees. Others were migrants looking for better economic prospects for themselves and their families. About 80 percent of these people were under the age of 34.

To ensure they can be integrated, the report calls on EU member states to:

  • speed up asylum procedures
  • cut the red tape that delays the reunification of families
  • provide proper housing
  • improve mental healthcare for refugees under enormous stress
  • grant asylum applicants early access to education, vocational training, and jobs to protect them from exploitation of their labor or criminals pushing them toward lives of crime.

This is not charity. EU countries, especially those with fast-aging populations, need an infusion of young people to power their economies and pay for their social safety nets. Immigrants can provide that boost, but only if they're given a real opportunity to contribute.

The report's authors point to good news. They say that the six countries covered in the report (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden) have already taken positive steps on housing and on language programs for children. But there are still dangerous gaps that need to be addressed in all these countries.

This is a global problem. There is nothing uniquely European about this challenge. There are now more than 71 million displaced people around the world. It's a hot political topic in every region of the world, and the forces that have pushed so many from their homes—war, organized crime, the impact of changing weather patterns on agriculture, inequality among nations, and broader public awareness of better conditions elsewhere—continue to intensify.

The bottom-line: Serious thinking about how best to integrate migrants will benefit the countries that choose to welcome them and the migrants themselves. The need will only grow more urgent in coming years.

Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. Working in collaboration with researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Auckland, Microsoft analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths.

By pairing Microsoft's capabilities and data scientists with Seattle Children's medical research expertise, progress is being made on identifying the cause of SUID. Earlier this year, a study was published that estimated approximately 22% of SUID deaths in the U.S. were attributable to maternal cigarette-smoking during pregnancy, giving us further evidence that, through our collaboration with experts in varying disciplines, we are getting to the root of this problem and making remarkable advances.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

A job is a job right? Not really. Full-time work generally offers more stability and financial security than part time jobs. Those full-time jobs tend to be more accessible in richer countries, but in every part of the world, regardless of a country's economic output, there is still a wide gap between the full-time employment of men and women. Globally, 36 percent of men are secure in a full time job, compared to just 21 percent of women. Here's a look at how each region fares.

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats brought two articles of impeachment against him, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Click here for our GZERO guide to what comes next.

In the meantime, imagine for a moment that you are now Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader and senior member of Donald Trump's Republican Party. You've got big choices to make.

More Show less

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats on Tuesday brought two articles of impeachment against him. They charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

So, what are the next steps?

More Show less

Trump gets his deal – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday that Democrats will back the USMCA, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Crucially, the bill will also have support from the nation's largest labor union. This is a major political victory for President Trump, who promised he would close this deal, but it's also good for Pelosi: it shows that the Democrats' House majority can still accomplish big things even as it impeaches the president. But with the speed of the Washington news cycle these days, we're watching to see if anyone is still talking about USMCA three days after it's signed.

More Show less