UN Migration Agency Joins Civil Society and UN Initiative Calling for Global Compacts to Protect Migrant Children

Posted: 
06/13/17
Themes: 
Global Compact, Migrants Rights, Migration and Youth

Germany - With intergovernmental discussions leading up to the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees currently taking place, all parties must work together to address the needs of migrant children consistent with their human rights.

Today (12/06), at the Global Conference on Children on the Move, in Berlin, Germany, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) joined more than 20 UN and civil society organizations to unite around the rights of children, especially children on the move. The conference with more than 250 participants from States, civil society, academia, UN agencies, private sector and individual experts aims to ensure that both Global Compacts – on migrants and on refugees - take into account children’s priorities and concerns.

“Every day at the UN Migration Agency, we work with migrant children. Some have been compelled to move accompanied by relatives or guardians or on their own due to conflict, disasters, fear and despair. Other children migrate in search of better socio-educational opportunities and ultimately to pursue their own development and that of the society they live in,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, when discussing the preparations for the Conference.

“We want to ensure that child migration is always in the best interests of the child and that when it is not, sustainable solutions are found for children and their families both at home or in a new home elsewhere. These solutions should ensure that children are not left behind and that they are not exploited or even worse: trafficked. All migrant children are entitled to care and protection regardless of their migratory status,” concluded Ambassador Swing.

Different factors contribute to migrant children’s situations of vulnerability, including their age, risk factors at individual, household, community and structural levels, the reasons why they have migrated, and the conditions they face during travel, transit, and at destination.

IOM will continue to strive for migrant children’s wellbeing and best interests across the wide spectrum of activities the Organization is pursuing in support to all Governments, who are ultimately responsible for their protection. IOM values this inclusive partnership and its goals especially as the consultations progress for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration - a major global process, to which IOM is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by UN Member States.

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 94 35, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Samira, only two years old, walked for 125km with her mother and brother in Somalia in search of water and food. Samira’s father and three other siblings were left with relatives along the way as they were too weak to continue. Photo: Muse Mohammed/UN Migration Agency (IOM) April 2017