Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Change

Open for public consultation | Recommendations for safeguarding the rights and well-being of children regardless of their location or migration status

A young girl holds up her books to keep them out of the floodwater on her way home from school to Walangwalang village.


There is currently no global policy framework for addressing the needs and rights of children moving in the context of climate change. Where child-related migration policies do exist, they do not consider climate and environmental factors, and where climate change policies exist they usually overlook children’s needs.

The Guiding Principles have been developed to safeguard the rights and well-being of children moving in the context of climate change, and are as follows:

Principle 1: Rights-based
Principle 2: Best interests of the child
Principle 3: Accountability
Principle 4: Awareness and participation in decision-making
Principle 5: Family unity
Principle 6: Protection, safety and security
Principle 7: Continued access to services (education, health care, social services)
Principle 8: Non-discrimination
Principle 9: Nationality

These Guiding Principles are intended to be used by local and national governments, international organizations and civil society groups working with children on the move in the context of climate change. They are based on existing international law as well as operational guidelines or frameworks which have been developed by a variety of stakeholders. The Principles are derived from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and do not create new international legal obligations.

Public consultation

In order to make these Guiding Principles as relevant and effective as possible, we invite all stakeholders to review this draft and share their views. Please submit feedback by June 10, 2022. (See privacy notice.)

You may provide input and comments in one of the following ways:

UNICEF; United Nations University, Center for Policy Research
Publication date


Public consultation on this draft is now open. We invite your feedback. See below for details.
(PDF, 1,37 MB)