Alone and unsafe

Children, migration, and sexual and gender-based violence


Date of publication:  01 Dec 2018 Publisher:  IRCF Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

The “Alone and Unsafe” report is produced by the IFRC with a focus on separated and unaccompanied children on the move, as one of the most vulnerable groups of migrants and refugees. According to the report, around 300 000 separated and unaccompanied children were on the move in the world in 2017, with a prediction that this number increased as the time passed. “Children on the move are easy prey for abusers, exploiters and traffickers and their vulnerability puts them at high risk of sexual and gender-based violence at every stage of their migratory path. When children are in transit alone, they are at very high risk of being assaulted, sexually abused, raped, trafficked into sexual exploitation or forced into ‘survival sex’”, cites the report. With this study, IFRC attempted to gain better understanding of the risks and types of violence children on the move usually face and what are the biggest problem with the protection systems already in place. Based on this, the report provides a set of actions to be taken by all actors involved in protection of children on the move, from governments to humanitarian organizations in this field.

In this document you can find out more about the dangers of the journey separated and unaccompanied children on the move face, focusing on gender-based and sexual violence and abuse, lack of adequate services and obstacles to access services that are made available for them, promising practices and recommendation on the next steps to ensure protection of separated and unaccompanied children on the move.

Some of the key learnings from the report are:

  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is an effective way to ensure protection of separated and unaccompanied children on the move
  • There is evidence number of separated and unaccompanied children on the move has been growing
  • Governments and humanitarian organizations often fail to identify and protection victims of sexual abuse and gender-based violence, which must be improved.
  • The lack of services, especially frontline healthcare and psychosocial services for separated and unaccompanied children on the move creates additional challenges for them and more efforts should be invested to provide those services to the most vulnerable children.
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