As conflict continues to rage in Ukraine, we cannot stress enough how important this moment is to shed light on the risks faced by children who are forced to migrate whether because of armed conflict, natural disaster, or any other reason. Ukraine is currently a poignant example of the very real dangers children experience prior to, during, and upon completion of their migratory journey.
An estimated two-thirds of Ukraine’s children have been displaced from their homes.
While children are one of the most vulnerable populations today, migrant children in particular deserve additional attention and the protection of governments and organizations around the world. Child migrants face increased risks prior to, during, and after their migratory journeys. Whether they are unaccompanied from the start of their journey, separated from their family or guardian during their travels, or fall victim to exploitation upon arrival in the destination country, vulnerable children must be viewed as a global priority. Current trends indicate that an increasing percentage of children make up migrant populations, and as such, if the necessary protective measures are not implemented, there will be an increasing number of children who are at risk of physical, mental, and psychological harm.
In 2020, the number of international migrants reached 281 million …
36 million were children.
ICMEC aims to encourage cross-sector, cross-industry collaboration and engagement; promote ongoing training and education of healthcare professionals, educators, border personnel, and other key stakeholders; and encourage the provision of safe spaces for children regardless of their migrant status to ensure their basic rights are being upheld. With the proper resources, partnerships, and tools in place, migrant children will have a better chance of living healthier and safer lives.