The Child Refugee Crisis
The world is in the grip of a refugee crisis that has uprooted almost 50 million children from their homes.
Many face an arduous journey across borders to find a safer home in another country – at least 300,000 of them are doing this alone.
These children are terribly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and trafficking – some studies estimate that as many as 50% of unaccompanied children go missing from refugee centres after reaching Europe.
As experts in the care of vulnerable children SOS Children’s Villages is providing care, support and emergency aid to child refugees around the world.
How we are helping
- We work along the world’s key migrant routes, providing food, first aid and trauma counselling to refugee children. Our child-friendly spaces let children and families recover from their ordeal in safety.
- We care for unaccompanied children until their families can be located, or a new home for them can be found.
- We are helping migrants rebuild their lives through education, vocational training, language courses and counselling.
Refika Ince, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Northern Cyprus – who have helped hundreds of refugees adjust to their new lives.
“Refugees in North Cyprus often face challenges in getting work permits or decent jobs. There is a lack of social assistance or welfare schemes for the unemployed. Families often struggle upon arrival.”
- We are working to change the way child refugees are perceived and treated around the world. Children should be treated as children – whatever their migration status or that of their parents.
- We are using technology to help refugees reconnect with lost loved-ones and rebuild their fragmented families.
Bringing refugees and local communities together
For the 70,000 refugees in the Rwamwanja settlement in Uganda, integrating into the local community has proven especially hard. Language and cultural differences between them and the local community – as well as poverty and a lack of sufficient infrastructure to accommodate all the newcomers – has created divisions.
SOS Children’s Villages is working to improve living conditions for both communities, to help them live together for the long-term. Our ‘Rebuild’ programme will boost the economy, support women-only households, and improve gender relations.
Uganda is Africa’s largest host country for refugees, giving sanctuary to 1.4 million people who have fled violence in neighbouring countries – particularly South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Refugee Family Reunion Bill
We believe every child, everywhere, deserves the chance to thrive in a loving and stable family. To that end, we are campaigning in support of the ‘Refugee Family Reunion Bill’ when it comes before parliament for its second reading on March 16.
The bill would bring refugee children – many of whom are in the country alone and have suffered the traumas of war and bereavement – one step closer to being reunited with their families.
Our 2017 report explores how European countries can better respond to the unique needs of migrant children, including those travelling without their families.
SOS Children’s Villages lays out the steps the international community must take to ensure refugee children are not denied their basic human rights to fair treatment and care.