In response to UNHCR’S announcement today that global displacement figures have almost doubled in a decade and now stand at 79.5 million, international aid agency, World Vision, highlights the impact that this global crisis is having on children. An estimated 30 to 34 million of the world’s 79.5 million forcibly displaced, are children.
“Almost half of those forced to flee are children, many of whom have little or no access to education, healthcare or protection. These children face a severe risk of being forced into child marriage, child labour, trafficking and abuse. They deserve the same rights as children in stable communities, but their rights and needs are being ignored by the international community,” said Dana Buzducea, Partnership Leader for Advocacy and External Engagement at World Vision International
In one year the number of those forced to flee has risen by approximately 10 per cent. Conflict is continuing to increase globally, forcing a continuously growing number of families to flee their homes. The rates of displaced communities returning to their homes has reduced threefold, representing a collective failure to provide solutions for communities affected by conflict and displacement.
“This is a global crisis. These figures should be going down rather than increasing at such a dramatic rate and the impact of COVID-19 is likely to cause the figures increase even further in 2020. We face a lost generation of children; beyond missing on their education, they have very fragile social safety nets or sense of belonging, and many have experienced unimaginable trauma, children left with little hope for a better future. These children deserve better.”
World Vision joins the UN in calling on warring parties internationally to lay down their weapons, now as we fight COVID-19 and thereafter, and focus on bringing stability and peace to the millions of children forced from their homes. Measures must be also be undertaken in keeping with international law to protect those currently on the move, including key legal considerations on access to territory for persons in need of international protection.
“The international community is failing the world’s most vulnerable children who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, instability and poverty. This cripples the potential of 34 million children to contribute to future society. This is a significant waste, not only for them, but for the world. These figures should come as a wake up call to world leaders who have a moral and legal responsibility to protect and support these children. If they do not begin to prioritise them now, new records of displacement will continue to be set, and children will continue to suffer most of all,” said Ms Buzducea.
Notes to editors
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World Vision’s Childhood Rescue helps children in the most dangerous places to survive, recover, and build a future through critical interventions, infrastructure, experience and a dedicated global network.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision