Every child, regardless of their borders, needs to be safe and protected. UNICEF has highlighted and advocated tirelessly for children's rights around the globe for more than 70 years and knows that children need to be seen as children, first and foremost. From South Sudan, to Syria, El Salvador and more, children who undertake treacherous journeys need to be protected and supported at every step along the way - in their home countries, in transit and across borders.
Hundreds of thousands of children move on their own or with their families, often using dangerous routes and engaging smugglers to help them cross borders. Regardless of their immigration status, all children have the right to be protected from harm, to get essential health care and education, to be with their families and to have their best interests guide decisions affecting them.
Globally, UNICEF focuses on a comprehensive strategy to keep refugee and migrant children safe, including ensuring rights in their home countries (preventing violence and improving opportunities), during transit (ensuring access to services and care), during reintegration if they're returned to their home countries and at their destinations (with social integration and services).
To help put an end to the crisis, UNICEF is working with governments to address the root causes for migration by strengthening services that reduce vulnerability of children to violence, crime and other threats, and supporting education and health. UNICEF is advocating for the protection of children's rights throughout their journey, and for governments to provide assistance to returned children.