Nearly 50 million children uprooted worldwide: UNICEF

Sep 7, 2016 17:00 IST

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 7 September 2016 released the report titled Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children.

According to the report, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted across the globe and millions more migrating in the hope of finding a better, safer life.

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Traumatized by the conflicts and violence they are fleeing, they face further dangers including the risk of drowning on sea crossings, malnourishment, trafficking, rape and even murder. In countries they travel through and at their destinations, they often face xenophobia and discrimination.

Highlights of the Report
• Children represent a disproportionate and growing proportion of those who have sought refuge outside their countries of birth: they make up about half of all refugees.
• In 2015, around 45 percent of all child refugees under UNHCR’s protection came from Syria and Afghanistan.
• 28 million children have left their homes due to conflict across borders including 10 million child refugees and an estimated 17 million children displaced within their own countries.
• More and more children are crossing borders on their own. In 2015, over 100000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries; triple the number in 2014.
• About 20 million other international child migrants have left their homes for a variety of reasons including extreme poverty or gang violence.
• Turkey hosts the largest total number of recent refugees and very likely the largest number of child refugees in the world.
• Relative to its population, Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees by an overwhelming margin: Roughly 1 in 5 people in Lebanon is a refugee.
• By comparison, there is roughly 1 refugee for every 530 people in the United Kingdom and 1 for every 1200 in the United States.
• When considering refugee-host countries by income level, however, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Pakistan host the highest concentration of refugees.
• A refugee child is five times more likely to be out of school than a non-refugee child. Outside the classroom, legal barriers prevent migrant children from receiving services on an equal basis with children who are native to a country.
• In the worst cases, xenophobia can escalate to direct attacks. In Germany alone, authorities tracked 850 attacks against refugee shelters in 2015.

 Six specific actions to protect refugee and migrant children
• Protecting child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children from exploitation and violence.
• Ending the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating by introducing a range of practical alternatives.
• Keeping families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status.
• Keeping all refugee and migrant children learning and giving them access to health and other quality services.
• Pressing for action on the underlying causes of large-scale movements of refugees and migrants.
• Promoting measures to combat xenophobia, discrimination and marginalization.

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