Migrant children: enhancing protection systems
Nur-Sultan, October 28, 2019 – as part of efforts to shape the vision on protecting children affected by migration a delegation from Kazakhstan visited Italy. The aim of the visit is to exchange experience and learn about the best practices in service provision for children on the move.
Italy is a member-state of the European Union and has been selected for its progressive experiences on protection and services for children and families affected by migration. The delegation from Kazakhstan headed by the Human Rights Ombudsperson looked into case-management, role and responsibilities of the guardianship authorities at the local level, the availability of special protection measures in legislation and in practice.
Central Asia is heavily affected by migration, primarily motivated by economic reasons.
Kazakhstan is a country of origin, destination and transit for many migrants in the region. Migration aspects in Kazakhstan are regulated by the 2017-2021 Concept of the Migration Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Several state authorities in Kazakhstan are involved in defining the state migration policy, regulating external and internal migration and addressing the needs of migrant children including the unaccompanied and separated children.
Children on the move are children, first and foremost – they need protection. The Convention on the Rights of the Child protects every child, everywhere. All children, regardless of legal status, nationality or statelessness, have the right to be protected from harm, obtain such essential services as health care and education, be with their families, and have their best interests guide decisions that affect them.
If the right policies are in place, migration has a great potential to improve access to essential services such as education and health care both for migrants and their families and the societies they leave and join. However, millions of migrants around the world still face obstacles in accessing those services in countries of origin, destination and transit. Health and education are not only human rights, but also the basis for the realization of all other rights. As such, they are the foundation for human rights-based, equitable and sustainable development. In addition, children in the context of migration require protection from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, to which they are particularly vulnerable, if they are to grow into healthy and well-educated adults.
The exchange visit is organised by the Human Rights Ombudsperson in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the UNICEF within the framework of the country programme of the UNICEF and the Government of Kazakhstan for 2016-2020, as well as the European Union and UNICEF joint programme on “Protection of children affected by migration in South-East, South, and Central Asia”, a 4-year-long Programme (2017-2021). The purpose of the EU and UNICEF joint programme is to assist the government of participating countries in ensuring the effective support and protection of the rights of children affected by migration.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.