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UNICEF statement on plight of child migrants in the Mediterranean

BRUSSELS, 26 February 2015 – “Since the beginning of the year, not a single week has gone by without reports of people, mostly from conflict-torn countries, crossing the Mediterranean on unsafe boats in search of sanctuary in Europe.
“Children are increasingly part of this exodus. Behind these journeys are individual stories of immense tragedy; the perils every child endures before, during and after these dangerous crossings are unfathomable. Many of these children are travelling without the protection of a parent or caretaker, and are vulnerable to risks of abuse and exploitation.
“UNICEF welcomes the European Commission’s announcement that it will be increasing its aid to Italy to help ensure that these children receive the protection, support, care and assistance they are entitled to.
“UNICEF believes that more must be done to address the root causes of these boat tragedies – including armed conflict, poverty and fear of persecution – as a means of preventing them from happening.”



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 visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:

Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, + 1 917 209 1804, nmekki@unicef.org
Melanie Sharpe, UNICEF New York, + 1 917 265 4516, msharpe@unicef.org





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