UNICEF, The United Nations programme fostering humanitarian and development aid for mothers and children in developing countries published a report on 7th September that highlights that nearly 50 million children are “uprooted” worldwide -28 million of them driven from their homes by violence, instability and conflicts affecting their countries. The report "Uprooted: the growing crisis for refugee and migrant children" shows there is a growing number of children seeking refuge outside their countries of birth. According to the data presented, from the 28 million children, 10 million are refugee children, 1 million are asylum-seekers and 17 million are children displaced within their own countries.
The report also highlights that a large number of these children are simply seeking a better quality of life and improved social and economic conditions away from their homes. In 2015, more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries, triple the number in 2014. According to this report, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees and very likely the largest number of refugee children. The report also argues that where there are safe and legal routes, migration can offer opportunities for both the children who migrate and the communities they join.
The disadvantages of a child refugee are greater than for those who are not migrants. “Uprooted” argues that a refugee child is five times more likely to be out of school than a non-refugee child. Also, when they are able to attend school at all, they are most likely to encounter discrimination, including bullying. Xenophobia is another issue to be resolved. In Germany alone, authorities tracked 850 attacks against refugee shelters in 2015.
6 specific actions proposed in the report
- Protecting child refugees and migrants from exploitation and violence.
- Ending the detention of children migrating or seeking refugee status.
- Keeping families united as the best way to protect children.
- Keeping all refugee and migrant children learning.
- Pressing on action on the underlying causes of large-scale movements of refugees and migrants.
- Promoting measures to combat xenophobia, discrimination and marginalisation.