Children of migrants in Europe and the USA face a variety of social, political and economic barriers before being integrated into these societies. The language programmes provided by host countries, with the exception of Sweden, are fairly useless. Indeed there is a lack of any kind of orientation, let alone language lessons, before or after arrival for most countries. This results in the migrants remaining at the bottom of a stratified economic and social system rather than gradually narrowing the gap between them and their hosts. Many migrant families and their host countries assume that the migrants will return to their home countries. For the most part this is illusionary. Many young people from immigrant families are less active in applying for apprenticeships, additional schooling or jobs than their host country counterparts. Numerous children attend less schooling in the host countries, achieve lower capacity in the host country's language and are culturally and socially unsure of themselves. Parents may force values and practices from the home country that are at odds with the host country's culture, placing the students in the position of having to reconcile the differences. This results in youth who are not socially and culturally adept in either country. The process of adaptation is often counter-acted by spatial and social segregation.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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