About


“The heart of the problem is not mobility per se, but the extreme vulnerability of children engaged in mobility.”

Extracted from the publication: Which Protection for Children involved in mobility in West Africa?

Destination Unknown is an international campaign to protect children on the move

“children on the move”: who are they?

They are children who have left home. They are on the way to a new destination, or have already reached it. They move within or between countries, accompanied or alone. Trafficked, unaccompanied, in street situation, kidnapped, forced to migration, refugees, asylum seekers, nomadic…across the world millions of children are on the move.

what is at stake?

An estimated 214 million persons worldwide are international migrants. 740 million are internal migrants. Youth represents a big share of migrants from developing countries; about one third is between 12 and 25 years old. In the coming years the number of children and youth on the move is going to rise. Their needs and interests are largely absent from the preoccupation of public authorities. Public opinion tends to perceive them as a threat. They are often subject to prosecution, detention or unsafe return. Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, governments are obliged to protect all children – including children on the move. But they generally fail to do so.

how do we approach the issue?

They have the right to move and to be protected. Prevention aiming at simplistically avoid children to move has proven to be inappropriate. This also hampers the fundamental right of a child to move. Their mobility increases their vulnerability and risk of being exploited. Their mobility also represents a potential for their future life and personal development. Provided they can benefit from adequate protection along their trip or at destination.

LET’S MOBILIZE TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN ON THE MOVE:

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