Toys of the Migrant Children

Children who are part of a Central American migrant caravan trying to reach the U.S. share their toys and their stories. Some 50 million children around the world are on the move. Much of this migration is positive, with children and their families moving voluntarily and safely.  Yet the migration experience for millions of children is neither voluntary nor safe, but fraught with risk and danger. Approximately 28 million children have been driven from their homes by conflict. In many cases, children and families without sufficiently safe and regular pathways to migrate have little choice but to turn to smugglers, traffickers and dangerous informal routes that put their safety at tremendous risk. The perilous Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy is one such example. This year alone, nearly 15,000 unaccompanied children have reached Italy by sea – their journeys typically facilitated by smugglers and traffickers. UNICEF estimates that more than 400 children have died trying to make this trip since the start of the year, while thousands have suffered abuse, exploitation, enslavement and detention while transiting through Libya.
“For countless children, migration is safe and regular – helping them, their families and communities to grow and transform,” said UNICEF Director of Programmes Ted Chaiban. “But there is another reality for millions of children for whom migration is highly dangerous and not by choice. The Central Mediterranean route is a case in point where thousands of vulnerable children risk their lives every year to reach Europe because safe and regular migration pathways are not available to them.”
Next year will see negotiations and adoption of the Global Compact for Migration, a landmark intergovernmental agreement that will cover all dimensions of international migration. It is a moment for countries to agree on actions that will support migrant children in line with the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Turkey urges world to play its part in helping Syrian children

Children at the opening ceremony of a preschool established by Turkish Red Crescent. Millions of children in war-weary Syria continue to be deprived of their most basic rights – education, health, and protection for violence, a refugee rights body. “Children are the ones most affected by this war. Because they are perhaps the most needy and vulnerable beings on Earth,” International Refugee Rights Organization deputy chairman Abdullah Resul Demir told state-run Anadolu Agency. “Children rights are defined by international law. However, in the past six years, we have seen that when our Syrian children are in question, all international laws and humanity have failed,” he said. 
He added that eight out of 10 Syrian children are “children of war” and 1.7 million live in the most intense areas of the conflict, while 2 million cannot go to school.

Rosa Julia Romero, a four-year-old migrant girl from Honduras

Rosa Julia Romero, a four-year-old migrant girl from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, wears her mother’s shoes as she walks through a temporary shelter after heavy rainfall in Tijuana, Mexico.

Aid group : 85,000 children may have died of hunger in Yemen

 A leading international aid group said  that an estimated 85,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 may have died of hunger and disease since the outbreak of the country’s civil war in 2015. Save the Children based its figures on mortality rates for untreated cases of severe acute malnutrition, or SAM, in young children. The United Nations says more than 1.3 million children have suffered from SAM.  The aid group said its “conservative estimate” was that 84,701 children may have died, based on historical studies that find that 20 to 30 per cent of untreated cases lead to death. Save the Children says it calculated the figure based on the number of cases reported in areas where aid groups were unable to intervene.

Back to school, but not for all of Syria’s children

Standing in line in the courtyard of their school in the capital Damascus, scores of Syrian girls in pink and blue uniforms saluted the flag and sang the country’s national anthem. A few miles away in a suburb, children played in the courtyard of a rehabilitated school, where shattered windows were replaced but charred walls and pockmarks from bullets remained on building facades. 
Jordan’s Ministry of Education reported that 31 percent of school-aged Syrian refugee children were not receiving formal or non-formal education. Child marriage has also increased in recent years — 2016 Jordanian religious court data shows that 36 percent of registered Syrian marriages in Jordan involved a girl younger than 18, four times more than in 2011.
The war is far from over, however, and its devastation has been particularly scarring for the country’s children, including those who fled the conflict, Geert Cappelaere, regional director of the U.N. Children’s agency UNICEF, said. Loss of families’ livelihoods, pervasive poverty, trauma and continued insecurity — even in areas where fighting has ended — as well as severe aid funding cuts are among the biggest obstacles facing Syria’s children. Some 2 million kids in Syria remain out of school. Nearly one out of three Syrian schools is out of service. Some 180,000 qualified teachers have also left the system. Since April, 31 children were killed by unexploded ordnance, according to UNICEF, including in areas where fighting ended.
In northwestern Syria, where the government is threatening an offensive in Idlib province, 1 million children — many of them already displaced more than once by the conflict — are bracing for a bruising military campaign. Conditions are also difficult in neighboring countries, where more than 4 million Syrian refugees live, over half of them children. At least 700,000 refugee children are out of school, and many more are at risk of dropping out. In this new phase of the war, donor countries are debating how to best to pool their funds.