New York- Days away from the Summit for Refugees and Migrants on September 19, an international report was published stating that by the end of 2015, the number of uprooted children had touched 50 million.
At least 31 million of those children have become refugees and another 17 million have been uprooted within their country towards the end of last year. Displaced children had been moved due to war, conflicts and poverty.
The report, entitled Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children, also says that the number of child refugees has more than doubled in the past 10 years from four million to 8.2 million.
UNICEF describes the children as some of the most vulnerable people on earth and gives warning that if governments do not act, the numbers are likely to grow.
Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund Anthony Lake had said that the world was short to shocked by the saddening footage of children.
In a statement Lake said : “What human beings can see the stunned suffering of Omran Dagneesh, the small boy rescued from a destroyed building in Aleppo, Syria, and not feel an overwhelming sense of empathy?
“Can we not extend the same empathy to the more than 100,000 children also trapped in the horror that is Aleppo? They are all suffering things no child should suffer – or even see.
“And empathy is not enough. Outrage is not enough. Empathy and outrage must be matched by action.
“Children of Omran’s age in Syria have known nothing but the horror of this war waged by adults. We all should demand that those same adults bring an end to the nightmare of Aleppo’s children.”
In a briefing to reporters, Justin Forsyth, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director said the report makes several recommendations for these children; protect child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, from exploitation and violence, end the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating, and keep families together and give them access to health and education.
In addition, the report recommends measures to prevent these kids becoming marginalized in their adoptive homes, and urges all efforts to resolve the wars and extreme conditions that lead to their exodus.
“What price will we all pay if we fail to provide these young people with opportunities for education and a more normal childhood?” also asked Lake.
Last year,100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 different countries; three times the number of the year before, and the numbers are rising.
Of the estimated 50 million children worldwide who have fled their homes, 28 million escaped due to conflict and the rest to escape extreme poverty, trafficking kidnapping or rape.
“The world hears the stories of child refugees one child at a time and the world is able to bring support to that child, but when we talk about millions it provokes incredible outrage and underscores the need to address the growing problem,” said Emily Garin, the report’s author.