More and more children are fleeing from conflict on their own and arriving unaccompanied in the world’s refugee camps and reception centres.
Many are lost or left behind in the chaos of battle and flight. Others set out alone to escape from militia violence and recruitment. Some have been orphaned or left to fend for themselves in environments that are often harsh and hostile.
In January 2016 alone, 20,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Greece. One in three refugees arriving by boat from across the Mediterranean Sea is now an unaccompanied child.
In Ethiopia, UNHCR has identified over 73,000 unaccompanied children. Most are escaping from violence in South Sudan and Somalia and from military conscription in Eritrea.
Without the aid and protection of humanitarian services, these children can fall victim to child trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation. It’s believed that thousands have disappeared in Europe.
UNHCR must act quickly to identify unaccompanied children on arrival and meet their immediate needs for child safe accommodation, care and counselling. But with the number of these children on the rise in Europe and Africa, our protection teams and facilities are overstretched and desperately underfunded.
Please donate today to help us protect the youngest victims of violence and conflict.
How we help
UNHCR protection staff identify unaccompanied refugee children on arrival and ensure that they are safe and cared for.
- We meet the children’s immediate needs for child-safe accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial counselling.
- We provide the children with emergency relief kits, containing essential items like blankets, clothing and shoes.
- We work with our partners to locate the parents and relatives of these children, conducting research and facilitating transportation to reunite them with their families wherever possible.
Help UNHCR provide life-saving support for refugee children fleeing home alone.