Refugee children in need of protection
In Turkey, UNICEF works to protect and assist children during and after emergencies, including refugee and migrant children by promoting and facilitating their access to child protection services
Refugee children are often more vulnerable to child protection risks and violations including: separation from their families, neglect, violence and abuse, psychological disorders and distress, isolation, discrimination, economic exploitation, including trafficking and child marriage.
If not adequately supported through the integration process, refugee children will have: (i) limited opportunities to interact with other children and youth from the communities in which they live (ii) high chances of misunderstanding and acculturation stress which can lead to escalating social tensions and conflict between communities.
Together with the Turkish governement and partners, UNICEF in Turkey responds to the refugee crisis by strengthening the national systems in meeting the specific needs of vulnerable refugee children and by delivering critical child protection services.
This approach pursues the following objectives:
- Alleviates risks to children’s safety and improves their emotional and social well-being while fostering a secure and stable environment for positive development, effective coping, and resilience;
- Reduces and prevents harm, early identifies cases of abuse, violence and exploitation and refers them to specialized services;
- Strengthens family and community-care through available services and local networks that enable children and families to survive and thrive and enhance their coping mechanisms to recover from adversity.
- Initiatives to prevent child protection risks from occuring by increasing the capacity and awareness of children, families and communities to self-protect (legal advice, parenting briefing sessions, community awareness raising events including on rights and entitlements, etc.) and dissemination of relevant information.
- A range of multi-disciplinary child protection response services including: psycho-social care support, individual and family counselling, legal aid, emergency cash assistance for immediate needs, basic health and nutrition counselling, disability counselling, case work and case management for children identified as at risk or in need and referral to specialized services.
- Specific services to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, particularly for the most at risk girls and boys, including information and awareness raising, individual and group counselling, referral to specialized services.
- Support to family tracing and reunification, ensuring that un-accompanied and separated children can be reunified with their families.