10 May 2023

30 years of research on migration and displacement at UNICEF Innocenti

As global displacement rises, there is a pressing need to understand and respond to the migration experiences of children. This article provides key insights from a comprehensive review of Innocenti’s research on migration and displacement over the last 30 years. It provides a foundation upon which Innocenti’s current evidence strategy on child…,   Context, Today over  37 million children are displaced worldwide  – the highest number ever recorded. These figures are consistent with the vast scale of global displacement, with over  100 million people in the world displaced  due to war and conflict, extreme weather events, and other crises. Displacement has a compounding negative effect on the ability…,   What have we learned?   , 1. The impacts of migration on child well-being are complex, varied, and contextual   Migration is often viewed through simplistic and polarised lenses that position it as a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ experience, especially when discussing child migrants. However, the impacts and outcomes of migration on children are complex, varied, and contextual…,   Next steps     , As part of these key research areas, Innocenti is committed to producing research that uses a child- and family-focused lens to offer critical and holistic insights into the experiences and impacts of migration for children and their families.   Recent and forthcoming publications from UNICEF Innocenti are building key insights around several key…
25 July 2022

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

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fie0QpNWoxk&ab_channel=UNICEF 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 approach 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: Access to education, health care and 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 invited stakeholders to review a draft version and submit comments by June 10, 2022. (See privacy notice.) Public consultation on the draft is now closed. Feedback received during the consultation period helped refine and strengthen the final Guiding Principles report.
25 June 2021

Concepts, Contexts and Categorizations of Climate Mobility

There is a growing awareness that the adverse impacts of climate change increasingly contribute, directly and indirectly, to different forms of mobility that unfold within countries and across borders. While, to date, most studies on climate-related migration have focused on adult populations, emerging evidence indicates that children also become uprooted and displaced due to climate change, or they are left behind when parents are compelled to move in search of livelihoods. There is an expanse of research on children and mobility, although not specifically framed as driven by climatic factors. This includes both children’s own mobility, as migrants or refugees, and the mobility of parents who leave children behind in their places of origin. This literature highlights the multiple risks children encounter during their journeys (e.g. violence, trafficking, forced labour, and other forms of exploitation) and the disadvantaged situation children find themselves in (e.g. high rates of school dropout, poor access to health care and other services), particularly when they move through unofficial and unsafe channels or as unaccompanied minors. These outcomes, in turn, can have lasting implications for children’s development and may reinforce and exacerbate their vulnerability and exposure to climate and other types of risks. This paper unpacks the relationship between climate change and different forms of mobility and highlights the importance of language for shaping discourses about people on the move, and the role of such discourses in driving policy responses. The paper reflects on the implications these may have for securing the rights and protection of adults and children moving in the context of climate change.
25 June 2021

Children on the Move: Why, Where, How?

The world is home to 2.3 billion children, with 29.3 per cent of the world population under 18 years old and 1.8 billion young people aged 10 to 24 years old the largest generation in history. A significant number of these children and youth live in areas vulnerable to climate impacts with, for instance, half a billion children living in extremely high flood occurrence zones and nearly 160 million children living in areas experiencing high or extremely high drought severity. In parallel, there is a growing awareness that the adverse impacts of climate change increasingly contribute directly and indirectly to temporary and permanent migration and displacement within countries and across borders. Migration in the context of climate change is often a multi-causal phenomenon, with multiple drivers intersecting to shape the decision to migrate. For this reason, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of people on the move due to climate impacts, including children. However, it is clear that children and youth are heavily impacted by migration dynamics. In addition, migrations are generating deep demographic transformations – with the children of immigrants representing the fastest growing segment within child and youth population in a number of high and middle-income countries across the world, but also resulting in families being separated and children remaining behind, or unaccompanied children migrating along dangerous routes. The child, climate and migration nexus remain underexplored; however, it is already clear that climate impacts add new layers of vulnerability to a large number of children and young people living and migrating in difficult conditions.