Increased migrant influx to Europe will soon enter into its third year. According to IOM data 378,660 people have been travelling to Europe through various transit routes across Africa, Asia and the Middle East this year (since Jan 2016), while in the year of 2015 the flow indicated 1,046,599 people on the move to Europe. Based on estimations by UNICEF between January 2015 and September 2016 more than 664,500 children have claimed asylum in Europe, which has had a large often tragic impact on their lives. In Italy, nine out of ten children arriving this year were unaccompanied; in Greece, 23,000 children remain in limbo; while more than 700 children have died at the Mediterranean sea trying to reach Europe this year alone.
Photo: IOM Iraq
In order to address the protection needs of migrant children IOM missions in Italy, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia together with its partners UNHCR, UNICEF and Save the Children have set the following priorities under the Protecting children in the context of the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe project funded by the European Commission (DG Justice):
- Prevention of violence against children, including trafficking as a worst form of violence, and respect for their rights along the migration route: from point of entry, in hotspots, while in transit and in reception centres. Support and strengthening of integrated national child protection systems. Capacity building of targeted frontline responders for child protection including national asylum/migration professionals/practitioners, national and local NGOs, and all other groups working for and directly with children, including volunteers. Accurate and up-to-date information collection on and monitoring of the situation of refugee and migrant children in the context of a common information network shared among all parties involved.
Further information about the project can be found here
Project partners at the 2-day kick-off coordination meeting; Athens, 8th and 9th of December 2016.