never so many – Friulisera

There are 37 million displaced children in the world, never so many, yet the large numbers almost no longer seem to impress that humanity has become accustomed to tragedies, even when they hit the little ones. According to UNICEF estimates, conflicts, violence and further crises led to the displacement of 36.5 million children from their homes by the end of 2021, the highest number recorded since World War II. This figure includes 13.7 million refugees and asylum-seeking children and nearly 22.8 million children internally displaced due to conflict and violence. These figures do not include children displaced due to climate and environmental shocks or disasters, nor children recently displaced in 2022, including due to the war in Ukraine. The record number of displaced children is the direct result of chain crises, including acute and protracted conflicts such as that in Afghanistan, fragility in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo or Yemen and related shocks exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Like fragility, the expulsion of children also spreads rapidly. Last year, the global number of displaced children increased by 2.2 million. “We can not ignore the evidence: the number of children displaced by conflicts and crises is growing rapidly and it is our responsibility to reach them,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF Director – General. “I hope that this alarming figure encourages governments in the first instance to prevent children from being displaced – and when they are displaced, to give them access to education, protection and other important services that support their well-being and development now and in the future “. To this record come crises such as the war in Ukraine, which since February has caused more than 2 million children to flee the country and the internal displacement of 3 million. In addition, children and families are also being displaced from their homes due to extreme weather events, such as droughts in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel and severe floods in Bangladesh, India and South Africa. In 2021, there were 7.3 million new cases of child displacement due to natural disasters. The world’s refugee population has more than doubled over the past decade, with children accounting for almost half of the total number. Over a third of displaced children live in sub-Saharan Africa (3.9 million or 36%), a quarter in Europe and Central Asia (2.6 million or 25%) and 13% (1.4 million) in the Middle East and North Africa. As the number of displaced and refugee children reaches a record high level, access to essential services such as health care, education and protection is declining. About two-thirds of all refugee children go to primary school, while about one in three of the refugee children go to high school. Migrant children – be they refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced persons – can take serious risks for their well-being and safety. This is especially true of the hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied or separated children who are most at risk of human trafficking, exploitation, violence and abuse. Children make up about 34% of the registered victims of human trafficking globally. UNICEF urges member states to honor their obligations to the rights of all migrant children, including those established under the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), and to further invest in data and research that reflects it. true extent of the problems faced by refugees, migrants and displaced children. UNICEF therefore calls on governments to take six steps to achieve equal rights and opportunities for all refugees, migrants and displaced children: provide equal support for all children, regardless of where they come from; recognize refugee, migrant and displaced children as children, first and foremost with the right to protection, development and participation; increase collective efforts to ensure effective access to essential services – including health care and education – for all immigrant children and families, regardless of their status; protect refugees, migrants and displaced children from discrimination and xenophobia; end harmful border management practices and detention of immigrant children; give young refugees, migrants and displaced persons the opportunity to unleash their talents and realize their full potential. The problem is certainly global, but also much closer than it died out: at the end of May, there were approximately 14,500 unaccompanied foreign minors present in Italy in the reception system. The emergency contributed to the increase in currents. 35% of unaccompanied foreign minors are in fact of Ukrainian origin, a total of over 5000. Recent arrivals have also lowered the average age of arrivals by 22% of children and young people between 7 and 14 years of age. The currents arriving from the Mediterranean also continue. From January to mid-June 2022, more than 22,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea, including over 2,500 unaccompanied foreign minors. To these figures we must add an unspecified number of minors outside the formal reception system and in fact invisible to the protection and protection services for rights.
UNICEF, in partnership with partners in the area, reached over 4,000 migrants and refugees in the first quarter of 2022 alone, including: 1,000 minors with protection interventions (actions to protect rights and better standards of reception and protection); 200 young people were placed in foster care and / or supported by mentors; over 1,000 minors in disadvantaged conditions, including unaccompanied foreign minors, have had access to language, digital and interdisciplinary skills development programs; over 1,100 migrants and refugees were reached through gender-based violence prevention and support activities, over 200 survivors of violence through legal and psychosocial support; over 1,300 people were reached with online information, also through the U-Report on the Move digital platform. (Unicefs data source)

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