There are 36.5 million displaced children in the world. Unicef: never so many

They are victims of wars and shocks or climate and environmental disasters. By 2021, the global number of displaced children increased by 2.2 million

[17 Giugno 2022]

According to UNICEF’s estimates, “By the end of 2021, conflicts, violence and further crises left 36.5 million children displaced from their homes, the highest number recorded since World War II”.

Among these displaced children, 13.7 million are refugee and asylum-seeking children and almost 22.8 million children are internally displaced due to conflict and violence, but UNICEF warns that “These figures do not include children displaced by shock or climate and environmental disasters, or those recently displaced in 2022, also due to the war in Ukraine ‘.

The record number of displaced children is the direct result of chain crises, including protracted wars such as internal and international conflicts in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen, and related “shocks exacerbated by the effects of climate change”, such as drought in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel and severe floods in Bangladesh, India and South Africa.

UNICEF is very concerned because “Like fragility, the displacement of children is also spreading rapidly. Last year, the global number of displaced children increased by 2.2 million”.

Over the past decade, the world’s refugee population has more than doubled, with children accounting for almost half of the total number. Over a third of displaced children live in sub-Saharan Africa (3.9 million, 36%), a quarter in Europe and Central Asia (2.6 million, 25%) and 1.4 million (13%) in the Middle East and North Africa. .

As the number of displaced persons and refugee children has reached a record high, access to important support and services such as health care, education and protection is insufficient. Only half of all refugee children go to primary school, while less than a quarter of refugee youth go to high school.

The UN recalls that “Displaced children, whether refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced persons, may face serious risks to their well-being and safety. This is especially true for the hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied or separated children who are most exposed to human trafficking. , exploitation, violence and abuse.Children represent around 28% of the victims of human trafficking in the world ».

Unicef ​​urges all member states to “respect their obligations for the rights of all displaced children, including those established under the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), and to invest further in data and research that reflects the true dimension of the problems faced by refugees, migrants and displaced children ”.

UNICEF urges governments to take 6 steps to give refugees, migrants and displaced children the same opportunities as others: 1. Provide equal support to all children, no matter where they come from. 2. Recognize, first and foremost, refugee, migrant and displaced children as children entitled to protection, development and participation. Increase collective efforts to ensure effective access to essential services, including health care and education, for all displaced children and families, regardless of status. 4. Protect refugees, migrants and displaced children from discrimination and xenophobia. End harmful border management practices and detention of child migrants. Enable young refugees, migrants and displaced persons to unleash their talents and realize their full potential.

UNICEF Director-General Catherine Russell concludes: “We can not ignore the evidence: the number of children displaced by conflicts and crises is growing rapidly, as is our responsibility to reach them. I hope this alarming number encourages governments to prevent children from being displaced, and when they are displaced, to give them access to education, protection and other essential services that support their well-being and development. Now and in the future “.

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