IOM evacuates Iraqi nationals from Beirut. Photo: IOM
IOM Launches Reference Checklist with Special Measures for the Evacuation of Migrant Children Caught in Crises
By Katherine Williamson and Laura Lungarotti
Poorly organized humanitarian evacuations or population relocations that do not follow protocols and guidelines can result in children becoming separated from their family. It is critical to raise awareness on the risks of inappropriate actions regarding the evacuations of children caught in natural or man-made disaster situations. All the more, special considerations are needed when migrant children are to be evacuated, particularly if they are unaccompanied and separated children (UASC).
Special Measures for the Evacuation of Migrant Children: A Reference Checklist is a part of the toolkit developed by IOM to provide technical guidance for the operationalization of the MICIC Initiative Guidelines, including Guideline 13: Relocate and evacuate migrants when needed.
This practice-oriented reference checklist is particularly welcomed, given the lack of practical guidance available on this often unexplored – and yet recurring theme. States and Organizations alike are often confronted with challenges and protection dilemmas when evacuating from crisis-hit countries groups of endangered migrants including children and among them, UASC. These include, for example, how to ensure that family groups are kept together throughout the evacuation, and how to ensure that UASC are identified, receive care and support during evacuation, and are received by appropriate authorities across the whole operation and in destination countries.