There’s a “nation” of migrant children across the world, the size of Spain

Sono 48 milioni i bambini migranti, rifugiati o deportati in tutto il mondo. A denunciare le cifre è un rapporto dell’Unicef.

Almost 50 million children have been uprooted globally due to hunger, conflicts, poverty, deportations, and persecutions. Another cause is climate change, which has made some regions unfit for habitation.

The picture of what seems to be a “migrant nation” (more populous than Spain) has been painted by the latest report of UNICEF, Uprooted. The document has been published on the eve of International Literacy Day (adopted by UNESCO in 1975 and celebrated annually on the 8th of September) and just a few days before the General Assembly of the United Nations beginning on the 13rd of September in New York. Moreover, the heads of state have organised a summit “to address large movements of refugees and migrants”.

The world is not doing enough for migrant children

“The situation is ever more alarming,” Ted Chaiban, Directors of Programmes at UNICEF, told French newspaper Le Monde, “considering that 31 million migrant children (1 out 70) have been forced to leave their homeland. Other 17 million children have been force to move in order to flee violence and war”.

Among minors, 11 million are refugees or asylum seekers. “They’ve been uprooted, and they’re often on their own. And the international community is not doing enough for them. We must accompany them to prevent them from being victims of violence and abuse. We must establish humanitarian corridors to help them find – where possible – their families”, added Chaiban. Also granting primary needs, including the access to free, quality education.

In the world, one out of two refugees is a minor

The problem has reached a disquieting extent: across the globe, minors make up 50 per cent of the total number of refugees and 13 per cent of migrants. Besides, children under protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have doubled over the past 10 years, mainly due to the Syrian war. In 2015 alone, more than 100,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in 78 countries: three times the number registered during the previous year.

The highest number of migrant children is found in Asia (39 per cent). In many cases, they are driven by climate change, which is increasingly affecting Africa due to its problems of water and food supply.


Featured image: ©UNICEF/UN020011/Gilbertson VII Photo

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