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Implementing the Global Compact on Refugees for children: Examples of child-focused work

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INTRODUCTION

Children make up 52% of all refugees globally, yet they are not sufficiently protected, and their care and development needs often go unmet.

Children in refugee situations face many potential dangers, such as violence, abuse, exploitation, discrimination, separation from their families, trafficking and military recruitment. The impact of these experiences can be devastating and long-lasting. Children have different needs from adults and these needs can only be identified and met if they are approached in a way that is specific to children.

The impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the dangers faced by children in refugee situations and laid bare the need for their protection and for ensuring that all their human rights are upheld all the time.

The Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts welcomes the inclusion of child-focused commitments in the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) includes specific provisions that – if effectively implemented - can make a difference to children and adolescents.

The Initiative is committed to helping put the GCR into practice so that children have greater protection, can access their rights, and are able to participate in decisions that affect them. The Initiative believes that the framework is relevant and can make a real difference to the lives of refugee children if effectively implemented and that the global pandemic shows that the time for change is now.

There are a multitude of examples of work being done in line with the recommended actions outlined in the GCR at local, regional and global levels which can serve as inspiration to help realize the commitments to children in the GCR. The goal of this publication is to share examples of approaches by members of the Initiative that have proven effective for children.

Our hope is that by sharing knowledge and concrete examples, we can help governments and other stakeholders to put the Global Compact on Refugees into practice in ways that work for children and that this will quickly make a tangible difference to refugee children.

The Initiative believes that the GCR framework is relevant and can make a real difference to the lives of refugee children if effectively implemented and that the global COVID-19 pandemic shows that the time for change is now.

The goal of this publication is to share examples of approaches by members of the Initiative that have proven effective for children. Special thanks go to the Open Society Foundation and to the Oak Foundation for supporting the work of the Initiative and the production of this publication.