Remember: more than half the refugees are children

With the increasing anger of the US President Trump about the suspension of the entry ban for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the PVV (Party for Freedom) high in the polls in the Netherlands it is once again necessary to point out that more than fifty percent of the refugees are children and they are entitled to protection. Children should never be locked up, whatever their status is. This month the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)) is calling for the interests of the child to be always be put first.

Humanitarian aid / Refugees

The statement serves as a reminder that everybody should be entitled to shelter: "All the refugees, forced migrants and vulnerable groups should always get the chance to find safety and to build a new life in the US or elsewhere in the world. A place where they do not have to fear persecution, discrimination, xenophobia and racism. NGOs working with and on behalf of refugees continue to promote his." 

Obligations to child refugees

The US travel ban reduces the number of options available for children and their families to flee to safety. "It is inconsistent with what was promised 148 days ago. The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants Summit on September 19, 2016 expressed the political will of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibilities globally. The New York Declaration contains some important commitments to children. Yet world leaders seem to have forgotten that a lack of commitment to fulfill those obligations will further divide society, "warns Ignacio Packer, head of the International Federation of Terre des Hommes.

Never lock children up

During the Summit member states pledged to jointly establish and bring into effect the "Nine principles advocated  for fleeing children and other children affected by migration". It is guaranteed here that they shall never be criminalized, punished or imprisoned for seeking access into another country.

Whether children are accompanied or not during their travels,, all children are entitled to protection and care. All Member States have legal, but above all a moral obligation to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all fleeing migrant children, regardless of their status. Attention should always be given to the interests of the child.

Watch the ‘9 Recommended Principles for Children on the Move':

 

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