«Millions of children are on the move across international borders – fleeing violence and conflict, disaster or poverty, in pursuit of a better life.
The global number of refugee and migrant children moving alone has reached a record high. At least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children were recorded in some 80 countries in 2015–2016, up from 66,000 in 2010–2011.
Hundreds of thousands move on their own. When they can’t find opportunities to move legally, children resort to dangerous routes and engage smugglers to help them cross borders.
Serious gaps in the laws, policies and services meant to protect children on the move leave refugee and migrant children bereft of protection and care.
Deprived, unprotected and often alone, children on the move can become easy prey for traffickers and others who abuse and exploit them.
The current system is failing refugee and migrant children. States have a responsibility to uphold their rights and protect all children within their borders, without exception.