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Children and migration: rights, resilience, and protection

Children and migration: rights, resilience, and protection

Children and young people move within and between countries in varying circumstances, both voluntarily and involuntarily. A wide range of interlinked factors—including economic, socio-political and environmental factors—influence decisions on how, when, and where to migrate.

Despite significant data on migration in general, little exists on the movement of children and young people specifically. Child-sensitive research is essential, not only to understand how the international community can better protect the rights and well-being of children on the move, but also to learn about migration journeys from children themselves.

UNICEF Innocenti builds the evidence base on effective strategies to protect the rights of children and young people who migrate or are displaced through mixed methods research. The work is structured across three pillars: (1) understanding the drivers, decision making and experiences of children on the move; (2) protection and well-being during transit; and (3) durable solutions for child migrant integration, return, or resettlement. Findings account for the distinct experiences of marginalized children and youth, including those living in humanitarian contexts; engaged in labour; and children living with disabilities.

 

Publications

Reimagining Migration Responses in Sudan: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report
Publication Publication

Reimagining Migration Responses in Sudan: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report

Migration is a regular feature of life in Sudan and the broader region. It takes multiple forms and is driven by numerous factors, including personal aspirations, curiosity, problems accessing a livelihood in the context of poverty and economic exclusion, and forced displacement stemming from political persecution, armed conflict, or natural disasters. Children and young people make up a significant portion of the upwards of 3 million migrants in Sudan. Yet there is limited understanding of the ways in which children and young people view migration, or of the opportunities and risks that it poses for them. As part of a regional research series, 467 quantitative interviews were conducted with children and young people in Sudan. The data from these interviews provide insights from children and young people themselves. Building on the findings, the research suggests a number of principles and concrete actions to create a more protective environment for children and young people on their migration journeys.
Reimagining Migration Responses in Somaliland and Puntland: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report
Publication Publication

Reimagining Migration Responses in Somaliland and Puntland: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report

Migration is a regular feature of life in the Horn of Africa. It takes multiple forms and is driven by numerous factors, including personal aspirations, economic exclusion and forced displacement as a consequence of inter-ethnic communal violence or natural disasters. As part of a regional research series and based specifically on 418 quantitative interviews carried out in 2019, with children and young people in Somaliland and Puntland, this report provides a deeper understanding of their perceptions and feelings around safety, well-being and their protective environments. It also provides a snapshot of their access to services and resources, and their trust in authorities and other service providers. The report concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations that can help rethink child protection approaches for migrant children and young people.
Reimagining Migration Responses in Ethiopia: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report.
Publication Publication

Reimagining Migration Responses in Ethiopia: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report.

Migration is a regular feature of life in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region. It takes multiple forms and is driven by numerous factors, including personal aspirations, economic exclusion and forced displacement as a consequence of inter-ethnic communal violence or natural disasters. As part of a regional research series and based specifically on interviews carried out in 2019 with 405 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, this report provides a deeper understanding of their perceptions and feelings around safety, well-being and their protective environments. It also provides a snapshot of their access to services and resources, and their trust in authorities and other service providers in Ethiopia. The report concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations that can help rethink child protection approaches for migrant children and young people in Ethiopia
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
Publication Publication

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
“No Mother Wants Her Child to Migrate” Vulnerability of Children on the Move in the Horn of Africa
Publication Publication

“No Mother Wants Her Child to Migrate” Vulnerability of Children on the Move in the Horn of Africa

Children are moving on an enormous scale in the Horn of Africa. The report highlights how children’s movement is driven by different motivations, exposes children to different forms of harm, and presents multiple barriers to accessing services. As elsewhere in the world, many people in the Horn of Africa are forced or pushed to move by unaddressed vulnerabilities, including poverty, persecution, disruption of their families or exposure to human rights abuses. Once they move, vulnerabilities can be exacerbated by the disruption of social structures and coping mechanisms that would otherwise have a protective effect. Being on the move can disrupt access to services as individuals may be unaware of where to turn in a new location and service providers may, in turn, have difficulty accessing them. These dangers become acute for children, especially those travelling without families. This report is the first in a series of studies in the Horn of Africa aimed at building knowledge to improve Unicef’s programmes which support children on the move. This first qualitative study provides a better understanding of the experiences of these children. It draws on 282 individual interviews and focus group discussions with children and parents on the move, including internally displaced persons, refugees, migrants and returnees. Within each group, the researchers examined why children move and the problems they face when they do. The researchers also examined what structures exist to protect children and whether they are effectively reaching children on the move and responding to the threats these children face. The report also provides recommendations for strengthening child protection systems on the ground.
2018 Results Report
Publication Publication

2018 Results Report

In 2018, significant gains were made in generating evidence to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children, build organizational capacity to conduct and use quality, ethical research on children, and set a foundation as an important convening centre for expert consultation on next-generation ideas on children. 2018 marks the first year the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is reporting on the progress of research under the new UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2021). This plan is the first to clearly delineate the role of research and evidence as one of the eight priority change strategies for children. This report therefore is an account of the first year of work to generate critical evidence to inform programmes, policies and advocacy for children and young people around the world
Child-related Concerns and Migration Decisions: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll
Publication Publication

Child-related Concerns and Migration Decisions: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll

Current times are characterized by unprecedented migration levels: millions of people are on the move worldwide. Thus, understanding why people decide to migrate is a major goal of policymakers and international organizations, and migration has become a prominent issue on the global research agenda. Traditional migration drivers can be divided into reasons to leave (‘push’ factors) and reasons to migrate (‘pull’ factors), and include income deprivation, dissatisfaction with public services and institutions in the home country, conflict and war, climate change, and social networks abroad. In this paper, we focus our attention on children’s well-being as a potential migration driver. We investigate it by using the Gallup World Poll, a repeated cross-section dataset of a survey conducted in more than 150 countries from 2006 to 2016. We estimate the association between planned and intended migration and children’s perceived well-being using logit models with standardized coefficients, robust standard errors, and year and country fixed effects. Estimates reveal a positive and statistically significant association between child-related concerns, migration intent and plans. In particular, the probability of individuals having migration intent and plans increases where they report lower levels of satisfaction with child-related issues, as measured by the Youth Development Index, an index driven by indicators of respect for children and satisfaction with the education system. Moreover, children’s well-being affects more individuals living in households with children than those without. Finally, migration is a child- and youth-related phenomenon: young individuals would like to migrate, and plan to do so, more than older individuals.
Towards a Child Rights-based Assessment Tool to Evaluate National Responses to Migrant and Refugee Children
Publication Publication

Towards a Child Rights-based Assessment Tool to Evaluate National Responses to Migrant and Refugee Children

This paper examines a range of tools, guidelines and formats available to monitor and evaluate various aspects of national responses to migrant children and argues for the need to integrate them into a single coherent, child focused, rights-based framework. Their current disparate application leaves gaps in the child’s protective environment and is not consistent with a holistic, child rights-based approach. Building on an analytical framework adopted by the Council of Europe in March 2018 to support a child-rights based approach by local and regional authorities to migrant and asylum-seeking children, the paper puts forward for consideration an integrated evaluation framework that incorporates and links existing practice models in order to ensure quality child-centred monitoring at each and every stage of the migration process.
Protected on Paper? An analysis of Nordic country responses to asylum-seeking children
Publication Publication

Protected on Paper? An analysis of Nordic country responses to asylum-seeking children

This research, commissioned by the Nordic National Committees for UNICEF, examines to what extent the rights of asylum-seeking children are respected and protected in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The report reviews relevant national legislative and policy frameworks; examines how these are implemented; documents good practices; and highlights gaps in national standards and their compliance to international standards. It makes some broad recommendations on how to strengthen and extend legal, policy and practice frameworks to ensure the full realization and protection of child asylum seekers’ rights and entitlements in the Nordic region. It further provides country-specific detailed, practical recommendations on how to ensure protection and welfare for asylum-seeking children. It makes country-specific recommendations on how legal, policy and practice frameworks can be strengthened to ensure full protection of children’s rights and entitlements.
Migration and Inequality: Making policies inclusive for every child
Publication Publication

Migration and Inequality: Making policies inclusive for every child

Drawing on Europe’s experience, this brief provides a cross-country comparative overview of inequality affecting children in the migration pathway, who are often described as 'children on the move'. Following a brief overview of the policy and practice in relation to various categories of refugee and migration children in Europe, it reflects on the performance of the countries with regard to Target 10.7 of the SDG.
Not Refugee Children, Not Migrant Children, But Children First: Lack of a systematic and integrated approach
Publication Publication

Not Refugee Children, Not Migrant Children, But Children First: Lack of a systematic and integrated approach

This brief takes a deep dive in the semantics and conceptual issues in the children and migration discourse, and highlights some of the key implementation gaps. It offers a summary of the risks, vulnerabilities and protection needs of children as refugees and migration in Europe. Using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as the normative frameworks, this brief also emphasizes how the voices of children in migration pathway must be heard and respected.
Bottom-end Inequality: Are children with an immigrant background at a disadvantage?
Publication Publication

Bottom-end Inequality: Are children with an immigrant background at a disadvantage?

The extent to which the socio-demographic composition of child populations drives inequality in child well-being depends on which children are most likely to do much worse than their peers. In this Research Brief we present evidence on the socio-economic vulnerability of immigrant children and highlight the relative contribution of immigrant background to the risks of falling behind in household income, education, health and life satisfaction.
Strengthening Child Protection Systems for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Mozambique: A case study of the border town of Ressano Garcia
Publication Publication

Strengthening Child Protection Systems for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Mozambique: A case study of the border town of Ressano Garcia

This research sets out to understand the why, how and with whom of rural-urban internal migration of children to Ressano Garcia, a border town between Mozambique and South Africa. It addresses the overarching research question of how to strengthen child protection systems for unaccompanied migrant children. By identifying children’s reasons for migrating, it identifies the main risks they encounter once they start living and working in Ressano Garcia. These include: lack of access to educational opportunities, exposure to child labour exploitation, trafficking and smuggling.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report
Publication Publication

Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report

The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The research finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses
Publication Publication

Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses

The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The research also finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children in Immigrant Families in Eight Affluent Countries: Their family, national and international context
Publication Publication

Children in Immigrant Families in Eight Affluent Countries: Their family, national and international context

During recent decades most affluent countries have experienced large increases in the number and diversity of immigrants, and accordingly it is anticipated that children in immigrant families will play an increasing role in these societies. However, while their social, economic and civic integration is of critical policy relevance, there is little statistical evidence available on this segment of the population. The study helps to fill the knowledge gap by presenting internationally comparable statistics on children in immigrant families in eight affluent countries - Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Children in Immigrant Families in Switzerland: On a path between discrimination and integration
Publication Publication

Children in Immigrant Families in Switzerland: On a path between discrimination and integration

Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies Public debate on immigration tends to be polarized in Switzerland around issues relating to admission policy. However, many children in well-settled immigrant families also appear to experience social exclusion. This needs to be addressed by policies and programmes aimed at fostering social integration.
Children in Immigrant Families in the Netherlands: A statistical portrait and a review of the literature
Publication Publication

Children in Immigrant Families in the Netherlands: A statistical portrait and a review of the literature

Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies Of the total population of the Netherlands about 19 per cent are foreign born or are born in the Netherlands with at least one parent born abroad. Almost 800,000 children (22.3 per cent of all children) are in immigrant families. Over 15 per cent of these children are foreign born. The rest have been born in the Netherlands each to at least one foreign-born parent. The Antilles and Aruba, Germany, Morocco, Suriname and Turkey are the major countries of origin.
The Children of Immigrants in France: The emergence of a second generation
Publication Publication

The Children of Immigrants in France: The emergence of a second generation

Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies In 2005, 4.9 million immigrants were residing in metropolitan France. This was 8.1 per cent of the population. Children of immigrants represent close to one fifth of all children. Children with at least one parent from Algeria, Morocco, or Tunisia make up almost 40 per cent of these children, and children of sub-Saharan African origin make up one eighth. Of the 3.5 million foreigners living in France in 2004, 450,000 were children aged 0-17 whose parents were foreign born.
Review of the Circumstances among Children in Iimmigrant Families in Australia
Publication Publication

Review of the Circumstances among Children in Iimmigrant Families in Australia

Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies There were about 1.5 million children 0 to 17 years of age in immigrant families in Australia in 2001. This represented almost 33 per cent of all children. More than a quarter of these children were in families from the most consistent countries of immigrant origin, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Another 17 per cent were in families from other parts of Europe, while 10 per cent were in families from New Zealand, and 3 per cent were in families from other countries in Oceania.
The Situation among Children of Migrant Origin in Germany
Publication Publication

The Situation among Children of Migrant Origin in Germany

Special Series on the Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies Germany may be described as a country of immigrants. Resident foreign citizens alone number around 6.7 million. The share of children who are living with parents who are recent immigrants is quite large. More than 1 million children 0–17 years of age are foreign citizens. Counting German citizens, there are nearly 6 million children of migrant origin under the age of 25. Of all persons of migrant origin, nearly 30 per cent are in the 0–20 age group.
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Italy: Changes and challenges
Publication Publication

The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in Italy: Changes and challenges

Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies According to 2001 census data more than 900,000 children aged 0-17, 10 per cent of all children in Italy, were born abroad or had at least one parent who was born abroad. One or both of the parents of about 500,000 children in immigrant families were born in less developed countries. Children now account for almost 23 per cent of the foreign population. In this report, we have analysed household composition and well-being of children in immigrant families with 2001 Italian census data and 2006 survey data. Inclusion and other social issues are reviewed through the most recent literature.
The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom
Publication Publication

The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom

Special Series on Children in Immigrant Families in Affluent Societies The foreign-born population in the United Kingdom reached 4.9 million in 2001, representing 8.3 per cent of the total population. Around 2.1 million children (16.3 per cent of all children) were in immigrant families. A fifth of these children were foreign born. The remainder were born in the United Kingdom of at least one foreign-born parent. More than 40 per cent were in families from Asia, around 20 per cent in families from Africa and around 20 per cent in families from other countries in Europe. Bangladesh, Jamaica, India and Pakistan are some of the main countries of origin.
Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development
Publication Publication

Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development

This paper focuses on independent migrant children, defined as below 18 years old, who choose to move from home and live at destinations without a parent or adult guardian. It summarises quantitative and qualitative research, and uses this to reflect on research agendas and global debates towards linking migration and development.
Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa
Publication Publication

Child Migrants with and without Parents: Census-based estimates of scale and characteristics in Argentina, Chile and South Africa

The paper defines child migrants as under 18 year olds whose usual residence was in a different country or province five years prior to census. The author estimates the scale of child migration, compares the relative magnitudes of internal and international migration, and considers sensitivity to alternative definitions of migration.
Children of International Migrants in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines: A review of evidence and policies
Publication Publication

Children of International Migrants in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines: A review of evidence and policies

This paper considers three groups of children affected by international migration: (i) children left behind by international labour migrants from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand; (ii) children of Thai nationals in Japan; and (iii) children brought along by irregular migrants in Malaysia and Thailand. Based on the limited data available from published sources, the paper constructs preliminary estimates of numbers of children involved. It then synthesizes available evidence on problems and opportunities faced by the children, and on policies towards them.
Children and Families of Ethnic Minorities, Immigrants and Indigenous Peoples: Global Seminar Report, 1995
Publication Publication

Children and Families of Ethnic Minorities, Immigrants and Indigenous Peoples: Global Seminar Report, 1995

The seventh Innocenti Global Seminar, held in Florence in October 1996, brought together participants with a wide range of experiences and perspectives to discuss discrimination against ethnic minorities, immigrants and indigenous peoples. The Report emphasizes participation, education and empowerment and calls for systematic attention to be paid to minority populations in all situation analyses.
Children of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities: An overview and conceptual framework
Publication Publication

Children of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities: An overview and conceptual framework

Following the Second World War and particularly after the 1960s, many Western European countries experienced positive immigration. Migrations to each specific country differed in origin and were influenced by the historical ties between the sending and receiving countries, particularly in the case of migrations from ex-colonies. However, international economic conditions and political situations also caused similar migration trends across countries, in particular the "contract work" migrations of the 1960s and the new waves of immigrants from developing countries of the 1970s and 1980s.

Journal Articles

Gender Justice and (In)security in Pakistan and Afghanistan
Journal Article Journal Article

Gender Justice and (In)security in Pakistan and Afghanistan

This article argues that gender justice becomes a politicised issue in counterproductive ways in conflict zones. Despite claims of following democratic principles, cultural norms have often taken precedence over ensuring gender-sensitive security practices on the ground. The rightness of the ‘war on terror’ justified by evoking fear and enforced through colonial methods of surveillance, torture, and repression in counter-terrorism measures, reproduces colonial strategies of governance. In the current context, the postcolonial sovereign state with its colonial memories and structures of violence attempts to control women’s identities. This article analyses some of these debates within the context of Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s security dynamics. It begins with the premise that a deliberate focus on the exclusion and limitation of women in Muslim and traditional societies sustains and reinforces the stereotypes of women as silent and silenced actors only. However, while the control of women within and beyond the nexus of patriarchal family'society'state is central to extremist ideologies and institutionalisation practices, women’s vulnerabilities and insecurities increase in times of conflict not only because of the action of religious forces, but also because of ‘progressive’, ‘secular’, ‘humanitarian’ interventions.

News & Commentary

Children’s voices critical for effective migration response
Article Article

Children’s voices critical for effective migration response

(Florence, 13 April 2021) A new study highlights the importance of reframing the experience of children and young people based on their own motivations and lived experiences in order to adequately protect their rights. UNICEF Innocenti’s new report Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa captures the experiences of 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan in an effort to paint a more accurate picture of migration in the region. “There was nothing good about my life before I left. If you don’t have an education, you don’t have a future. I left because I wanted to change my life and that of my family.” – quote from 20-year-old Somali male interviewed for the study A growing number of children and young people worldwide are migrating in search of a better life—1 in 8 international migrants is a child. In the Horn of Africa, migration has long been a key coping strategy, with children and young people leaving home, alone or with families or friends, for a variety of reasons—from job prospects, to joining loved ones, to ensuring their own safety. The study looks beyond legal definitions of “migrant” to document the real experiences of those who move in the region. “Migration is often framed in terms of risk rather than opportunity,” explains Ramya Subrahmanian, Innocenti’s Chief of Child Rights and Protection. “The reality is that a lot of these children and young people decide to move or are compelled to move, despite being aware of the risks involved. For them, it’s a better alternative than staying at home.”Visit our dedicated microsite on children on the move in the Horn of Africa The study lays bare the complexities of migration and calls for a multi-dimensional and adaptive approach to understanding and providing for the needs of children and young people who move. “International frameworks outline distinct categories of migration—refugee, migrant, asylum seeker, internally displaced person—but what this research shows is that young migrants define their own migration narrative and many do not ascribe to any of these categories,” Innocenti’s Director, Gunilla Olsson, explains. “Designing policies that take their views into account can help to ensure that children who move can access the services they need.”A recently arrived Somali family looks out the window of a bus taking them to the Buramino refugee camp in the Dollo Ado area of Ethiopia's Somali Region.  Not only are more integrated definitions required to protect children on the move, but other factors which make the journey unsafe should also be addressed. A lack of trust in authorities means children who move may resort to unsafe routes to avoid them, including using smugglers at the risk of exploitation and violence. Age and gender also play an important role in shaping children and young people’s migration experience. Access to services is already limited, but additional barriers, including language and location, further undermine the system’s ability to adequately provide for children and young people on the move and deny them the means to improve their lives in the long-term.The research suggests three actions governments and stakeholders can take now to improve the situation for children and young people in the Horn of Africa. “First, we must put children’s migration experiences at the heart of policies. Listening to and including children’s experiences is crucial to better policymaking and investments,” explains Subrahmanian. “Second, we must protect and provide for all children, regardless of their reasons for migrating. And finally, we must better coordinate and integrate approaches to child protection services.” Read the multi-country synthesis report. Explore the dedicated microsite. Stay tuned for individual country reports.  
COVID-19: Children at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence
Article Article

COVID-19: Children at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence

Children play in the Reception and Identification Centre in Moria, on the island of Lesvos, in Greece. The situation for refugee and migrant children on the Greek islands remains dire and dangerous.NEW YORK, 20 March 2020 – Hundreds of millions of children around the world will likely face increasing threats to their safety and wellbeing – including mistreatment, gender-based violence, exploitation, social exclusion and separation from caregivers – because of actions taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF is urging governments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children amidst the intensifying socioeconomic fallout from the disease. The UN children’s agency, together with its partners at the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, has released a set of guidance to support authorities and organizations involved in the response. In a matter of months, COVID-19 has upended the lives of children and families across the globe. Quarantine efforts such as school closures and movement restrictions, while considered necessary, are disrupting children's routines and support systems. They are also adding new stressors on caregivers who may have to forgo work.“In many ways, the disease is now reaching children and families far beyond those it directly infects”Stigma related to COVID-19 has left some children more vulnerable to violence and psychosocial distress. At the same time, control measures that do not account for the gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls may also increase their risk of sexual exploitation, abuse and child marriage. Recent anecdotal evidence from China, for instance, points to a significant rise in cases of domestic violence against women and girls.“In many ways, the disease is now reaching children and families far beyond those it directly infects,” said Cornelius Williams, UNICEF Chief of Child Protection. “Schools are closing. Parents are struggling to care for their children and make ends meet. The protection risks for children are mounting. This guidance provides governments and protection authorities with an outline of practical measures that can be taken to keep children safe during these uncertain times.”People wear face masks as they wait to enter a children's hospital in Phnom Penh, after the first case of novel coronavirus was reported in the country.Increased rates of abuse and exploitation of children have occurred during previous public health emergencies. School closures during the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, for example, contributed to spikes in child labor, neglect, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies. In Sierra Leone, cases of teenage pregnancy more than doubled to 14,000 from before the outbreak.As part of the guidance, the Alliance is recommending that governments and protection authorities take concrete steps to ensure protection of children is integral to all COVID-19 prevention and control measures, including:Train health, education and child services staff on COVID-19 related child protection risks, including on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and how to safely report concerns;Train first responders on how to manage disclosure of gender-based violence (GBV Pocket Guide), and collaborate with healthcare services to support GBV survivors;Increase information sharing on referral and other support services available for children;   Engage children, particularly adolescents, in assessing how COVID-19 affects them differently to inform programming and advocacy;Provide targeted support to interim care centres and families, including child-headed households and foster families, to emotionally support children and engage in appropriate self-care;Provide financial and material assistance to families whose income generating opportunities have been affected; and Put in place concrete measures to prevent child-family separation, and ensure support for children left alone without adequate care due to the hospitalization or death of a parent or caregiver; and,Ensure the protection of all children is given the utmost consideration in disease control measures.
Children on the move in the Horn of Africa
Article Article

Children on the move in the Horn of Africa

Children are moving on an enormous scale in the Horn of Africa. The report highlights how children’s movement is driven by different motivations, exposes children to different forms of harm, and presents multiple barriers to accessing services. This report is the first in a series of studies in the Horn of Africa aimed at building knowledge to improve Unicef’s programmes which support children on the move

Events

#BOURE2020 webinar series
Event Event

#BOURE2020 webinar series

From 2014 to 2018, more than 70,000 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea. To better understand how to ensure their protection and social inclusion, this research presents an overview of trends and possible pathways to adult life for this group of children in Italy. Children’s voices are amplified by the participatory and youth-led approach, allowing them to express their views on decisions that affect them personally.

Project team

Ramya Subrahmanian

UNICEF Innocenti

Josiah Kaplan

UNICEF Innocenti

Zoe Taylor

UNICEF Innocenti

Videos

Research watch

Children on the move

Topics

Migration

Conference and meetings

Annual Meeting Human Rights, Migration and Global Governance (ACUNS)

ASEM Seminar Human Rights and Children

Second Global Meeting on Children on the move

The Migration-Deportation Nexus

Blogs

30.6 million new internal displacements in 2017, children are among the most vulnerable

How voluntary guardianship for unaccompanied minors took root in Sicily

Children and Migration Decision: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll

Migration, hate speech and media ethics

Why research should be a priority in the global response to the child migration crisis

Migrant and refugee children face higher rates of bullying

Podcasts

Protected on Paper? An analysis of Nordic country responses to asylum-seeking children

Bina D'Costa on migrant and refugee children and the role of research

Commentaries

Syrian refugees and child marriage

Life (and death) of Rohingya children - No place to hide

Asia’s Child Migrants

Related Innocenti publications

Economic Transfers and Social Cohesion in a refugee hosting setting

No Lost Generation - cash transfer program for Syrian Refugees

What's new

Forced Displacement of Children in the Italian Context

Knowledge pages

Children and Migration

Related external links

Economic Transfers and Social Cohesion in a refugee hosting setting

External website

Children Uprooted campaign

UNICEF Agenda for Action for Children on the move