Toward the finish of 2022, a record 43.3 million kids lived in constrained dislodging, as per UNICEF gauges, a significant number of them for their whole youth.
Over the course of the previous ten years, there has been a greater increase in the number of children who have been forcibly removed from their homes than there has been in the number of adults. Over 2 million Ukrainian children have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the conflict, and over 1 million children have been displaced within the country.
Catherine Russell, the executive director of UNICEF, stated, “For more than a decade, the number of children forced to flee their homes has risen at an alarming rate, and our global capacity to respond remains seriously under strain.” The rise is consistent with the worldwide avalanche of conflicts, crises, and climate catastrophes. However, it also demonstrates the inadequate response of many governments to ensure that every refugee and internally displaced child can continue their education, remain healthy, and develop to their full potential.
By the end of 2022, almost 60% (25.8 million) of the 43.3 million children who were forced to move were internally displaced by violence and conflict. In addition, the number of children seeking refugee status and asylum reached a new record of 17.5 million. This figure does not even take into account those who will be newly displaced in 2023 as a result of the conflict in Sudan. To date, UNICEF estimates that the conflict has resulted in the displacement of over 940,000 children. Another 12.0 million children were forced to flee their homes in 2022 as a result of extreme weather conditions like the floods in Pakistan and the drought in the Horn of Africa.
Children of internally displaced and refugee families frequently rank among the most at risk. Many people are denied access to health care and education, miss out on routine vaccinations, and do not have access to social security.
The duration of displacement for many children is getting longer. The majority of today’s displaced children will spend their entire childhood there. Without immediate action to mitigate global warming and prepare communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, climate-induced displacement is expected to rise rapidly.
Russell stated, “To address the drivers of displacement and provide long-term solutions for children on the move, greater political will is required.” A record number of outcast, transient and dislodged youngsters – a worldwide populace that equals that of Algeria, Argentina or even Spain – requests an equivalent reaction. When governments properly invest in the inclusion of displaced children and families, we have witnessed long-lasting change. We can keep them protected, safe, healthy, and learning by working together.
UNICEF is urging governments to ensure that no child is left behind by:
- Recognising refugee, migrant and displaced children as children first and foremost – with rights to protection, inclusion, and participation
- Providing safe and legal pathways for children to move, seek asylum and reunite with family
- Ensuring no child is detained because of their migration status or returned without safeguards unless return has been determined to be in a child’s best interests
- Strengthening national education, health, child protection and social protection systems to include displaced children without discrimination
- Investing in national child protection systems to better protect children on the move at risk from exploitation and violence, particularly unaccompanied children
- Listening to and meaningfully engaging displaced children in finding solutions that are sustainable and inclusive and that can help them realize their full potential