Child Refugee Crisis | UNICEF USA

Child Refugees and Migrants

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Across the globe, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted, with 28 million fleeing brutal conflict and millions more escaping extreme poverty. This figure includes millions of children caught in wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan — in more than a dozen countries. This figure also includes children driven from their homes by violence or deprivation and forced to make difficult and dangerous journeys abroad, and children who are out of school and don’t know when they might return.

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This child refugee crisis is the worst since World War II — a humanitarian emergency that demands immediate action. Whether these children are migrants, refugees, or internally displaced, they are all children first. They don't choose where they're born. They urgently need — and deserve — our help now. 

UNICEF is responding to this crisis across four continents. Children and families fleeing escalating violence in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Northern Africa rely on UNICEF deliveries of lifesaving supplies to stay healthy on their journeys. UNICEF is providing water and tents to create safe spaces for the growing wave of children moving through Europe. In Central America, children fleeing violence and abuse have UNICEF on their side, working to improve their lives.  

UNICEF is also using its decades of humanitarian expertise to help vulnerable immigrant children in the U.S. UNICEF USA and partners work to support and expand existing protection measures, which include alternatives to detention, legal assistance, advocacy and the strengthening of the sponsor system.

Above, watch an animated version of Mustafa's traumatic and dangerous journey from Syria to Germany as a child refugee. This video was part of our "Unfairy Tale" video series here.

Agenda for Action

UNICEF uses a six-point plan to keep uprooted children around the world healthy and safe. But each point has a human story behind it. Check them out below.

Protect Displaced Children from Exploitation and Violence
End the Detention of Refugee and Migrant Children
Keep Refugee and Migrant Children Learning and Healthy
Keep Families Together and Protect Unaccompanied Children
Address the Root Causes that Force Children from Home
Combat Xenophobia and Discrimination