The refugee and migrant crisis

One third of the refugees and migrants who have arrived in Europe are children. UNICEF is responding to the needs of all uprooted children at every stage of their journey, urging governments to protect their rights.

Refugee sister and brother playing in a toy house donated to the refugee and migrant centre in Serbia by UNICEF Serbia and EU
UNICEF Serbia/2017/Vas

Challenge

Refugee and migrant children – some travelling with their families, some alone – risk everything, even their own lives, in search of a better life.

Millions of uprooted families flee their homes to escape conflict, persecution and poverty. 

Solution

UNICEF works with the Government of Serbia and partners to meet children’s immediate needs, including safety, protection, health care, adequate nutrition and education. 

To respond to the immediate needs of children, UNICEF supported the establishment of child-friendly spaces, Youth corners and mother-and-baby corners across the country.

In child-friendly spaces children rest, play and receive psychosocial support by qualified professionals who can best understand and respond to their needs.

UNICEF also supports the overall strengthening of the capacities of the social welfare system in Serbia to respond to the needs of refugee and migrant children and families.

In child-friendly spaces and Youth corners, UNICEF, through partners, provides non-formal education activities to children.

These activities help children to develop key skills for life-long learning, which will help them when they enroll into school either in Serbia, or in their countries of destination or origin.

UNICEF supports the education system in the Republic of Serbia to enroll refugee and migrant children into school.

In mother-and-baby corners women breastfeed their babies in privacy and if needed, prepare and provide age-appropriate food for their children and are referred to health services if needed.

UNICEF also provides children with appropriate clothes, while hygiene items are made available to mothers.

Mother breastfeeding her baby at a mother and baby corner
UNICEF Serbia/2018/Vas