UN, partner agencies issue roadmap for helping unaccompanied migrant children

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-10 21:07:59|Editor: Mengjie
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GENEVA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A group of UN and partner agencies on Monday issued a roadmap for action to improve the situation of refugee and migrant children arriving and staying in Europe without their parents or care givers.

The roadmap, jointly issued by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), highlights the need to identify children, register them through child-friendly procedures, and build a relationship of trust with them as early as possible.

The roadmap also provides recommendations developed in a broad consultative process led by the three organizations, with input from 100 practitioners.

UN documents have showed that although a solid legal framework for child protection exists in many countries, complex, costly, and bureaucratic procedures have meant that all too often the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children are not taken into account.

"Efficient and harmonized processes would help children understand procedures and access protection and solutions in accordance with their best interests," the roadmap document said.

"All actions and decisions must have the child's best interests at heart. We can all make this happen and the Roadmap shows us how," said Diane Goodman, deputy director of UNHCR's Europe Bureau.

According to the UN, the situation for unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children has worsened since the increase of arrivals to Europe back in 2015, with a broadened use of detention and large scale institutional care, limited family reunification opportunities, and rising concerns over deportations.