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UNICEF: Five-fold increase in number of refugee and migrant children traveling alone

Number of separated children at record high

The global number of refugee and migrant children moving alone has reached a record high, increasing nearly five-fold since 2010, UNICEF said in a new report. At least 300,000 separated children were recorded in some 80 countries in the combined years of 2015 and 2016, up from 66,000 in 2010 and 2011.

'A Child is a Child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation' presents a global snapshot of refugee and migrant children, the motivations behind their journeys and the risks they face along the way. The report shows that an increasing number of these children are taking highly dangerous routes, often at the mercy of smugglers and traffickers, to reach their destinations, clearly justifying the need for a global protection system to keep them safe from exploitation, abuse and death.

Ahead of the G7 Summit in Italy, UNICEF is calling on governments to adopt its six-point agenda for action to protect refugee and migrant children and ensure their wellbeing. The agenda includes calls to protect separated children from exploitation and violence, to end detention of children, to keep families together and to provide separated children with access to education, health care and other services. UNICEF is also urging the public to support this six-point agenda for action.

SCEP voices its concerns

"The Separated Children in Europe Programme is very concerned about the rising numbers of separated children on the move, as outlined by this UNICEF publication. Urgent action is needed to address this situation. It also makes that the cooperation and exchange of information within the SCEP Network remains essential." Jantine Walst, coordinator of the SCEP Network.

Click here for the UNICEF press release
Click here for the UNICEF report

Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) - coordinated by Defence for Children The Netherlands - PO BOX 11103 - 2301 EC - Leiden - 0031 (0)71 516 09 80 - info@scepnetwork.org