A report released by the United Nations on Wednesday has highlighted that around 42 million children worldwide have been rendered homeless due to a range of factors including war, poverty, and climate change since 2022.
In the report titled ‘Protecting the Right of Children on the Move in Times of Crisis’, the UN said that such displacement has led to a heightened risk of violence. It further revealed that 41 percent of the estimated 100 million homeless individuals globally were minors, vulnerable to harm.
Lead advocate and UN special Representative on Violence against Children, Dr Najat Maalla M’jid along with the head of the UN human rights office (OHCHR), refugee agency UNHCR, the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), and other UN agencies, stressed on protecting displaced children, she said “Children on the move are children, first and foremost, and their rights move with them”
The report also disclosed that displaced children are exposed to a heightened risk of violence including sexual abuse, exploitation, forced labour, trafficking, child marriage, Illegal adoption, recruitment into criminal and terrorist groups
UN outgoing migration chief, Antonio Vitorino said many displaced kids “remain invisible to national child protection systems or are caught in bureaucratic nets of lengthy processes of status determination.”
The report calls for individual governments to invest in national protection systems that prioritise displaced children and reject the creation of “separate services for them as that has proven to be more sustainable and effective in the long term”
The report, compiled by the seven UN agencies advocates that all children should have non-discriminatory access to social services including civil documentation such as birth registration, education, social welfare, social protection, justice, and healthcare.
Spanish actress, Penelope Cruz, weighing into the discussion, reinforced the message that children globally should be protected in all circumstance regardless of their country of origin. She affirmed that “keeping all children safe from harm and promoting their wellbeing with particular attention to those in crisis situations is, and must be, everybody’s business” she called for unity in creating a world free from violence against children.