We are campaigning to change policies, legislation and practice for the benefit of children on the move and sharing knowledge – both from research we undertake and from our members’ work - about what protects children on the move.
Whilst there has been progress in some areas, legislation, policies and practices relating to migration and asylum are not child-sensitive enough or are not sufficiently put into practice. Laws, policies and practices relating to children in general do not take the needs and vulnerabilities of children on the move into account.
Two new global agreements - the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration - provide an important framework for pushing for child rights to be upheld and respected. It is an opportunity for civil society to support and promote the implementation of these frameworks in a way that works for refugee and migrant children and to ensure that refugee and migrant children are part of their implementation.
Young people seeking asylum in Switzerland face many challenges and stress both linked to the uncertainty of their current situation and the trauma often experienced in their home country or during the journey.
Terre des Hommes (Schweiz) has begun working with such young people in Basel to recognize their strengths, build resilience, and focus on what they can control.
Reflecting on the question “When did I feel a little bit better than usual?”, one young person remembered that back home her passion was painting and she started painting again. Another young person reflected on how she felt before and after joining this project: “The only thing I could think about was the interviews … and my residence permit. Every thought was about this. Now I can see what I already achieved to be here. How brave I was and of what assertiveness I have.”
We are campaigning for children to be at the heart of legislation and policies at international level. As a member of the Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts, we advocated for two new agreements, the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to be child-sensitive and to ensure child rights were fully upheld throughout. We are now pushing for governments to start putting into practice all that is important in these documents for refugee and migrant children.
We are supporting our members to understand and work with the framework they provide to push for change in different countries and regions.
Are you interested in being part of Destination Unknown’s network of young people?
Do you want to be in touch with other young people and at the heart of developing and driving campaigns so that the rights of children and young people on the move are respected, upheld and protected?
Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.