On September 7th, UNICEF released a new report “Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children” reflecting on the growing crisis for refugee and migrant children and presenting data on the lives and situation of millions of children and families affected by violent conflict. The agency points out that across the globe nearly 50 million children have been uprooted, migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced within their own countries – 28 million of them fleeing from home due to conflict and millions more migrant in hopes for a better live, with more safety and dignity.

As shown by the report, the number of child refugees jumped by roughly 75 per cent between 2010 and 2015 – the same period in which we faced 15 conflicts that either broke out or reignited from Syria to South Sudan, from Yemen to Afghanistan.

“We must not forget that each child, each picture, represents many millions of children in danger at home – and many millions of children who have left their homes. This demands that our compassion for the individual children we see be matched with urgent – and sustained – action for all child refugees and migrants.”

– Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

‘Uprooted’ shows that:

  • Today, nearly 1 in every 200 children in the world is a child refugee. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of child refugees under the UNHCR’s mandate more than doubled.
  • By the end of 2015, some 41 million people were displaced by violence and conflict within their own countries; an estimated 17 million of them were children.
  • Globally, three out of every five international child migrants live in Asia or Africa. Nearly one in three African migrants is a child, more than twice the global average. Asia is home to 2 in 5 of the world’s child migrant – nearly 12 million, which represents 39 per cent of all international child migrant.
  • In 2015, around 45 per cent of all child refugees under UNHCR’s mandate had origins in the Syrian Arab Republic and Afghanistan.
  • Together, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen accounted for nearly one-third of the world’s total of conflict-induced internal displacements by the end of 2015.
  • More than twice as many children applied for asylum within the European Union and free movement zone in 2015 compared to 2014; in the first half of 2016, nearly 70 per cent of children seeking asylum in the European Union and free movement zone were fleeing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Turkey hosts the largest total number of recent refugees, and very likely the largest number of child refugees in the world. When considering refugee-host countries by income level, however, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Pakistan host the highest concentration of refugees.

According to ‘Uprooted’, we face an increase number of children who are crossing borders on their own. In 2015, over 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries – triple the number in 2014. Unaccompanied children are among those at the highest risk of exploitation and abuse, including by smugglers and traffickers.

“What can the future hold for these children – denied so much of what they need? Were we to follow the future lives of some of the children – those who have survived – in the pictures that so move us today, what would we find?”

– Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

This report presents not only comprehensive global data on migrant and refugee child, but it also sheds light on the nature of childhood migration and displacement, highlighting major challenges and providing policy recommendations to better fit the needs of protection for displaced, refugee and migrant children.

Link to report: http://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIFQP5K8