UNICEF has described the unanimous adoption of the Global Migration Compact as a historic achievement for migrant children and states alike.
UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy, Mr Laurence Chandy, said this in a statement issued at the two-day Intergovernmental Conference on for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which opened on Monday in Marrakech, Morocco.
Chandy expressed delight that children had been recognised as central to migration management.
He said that by implementing the measures proposed in the Compact, states would better address the root causes of migration.
“For the very first time, children are being recognised as central to migration management.
“Without creating new obligations, the Compact provides states with a critical tool to better meet their existing legal obligations to protect, integrate and empower all children,’’ Chandy said.
According to him, the Compact will also help provide millions of children and young people, affected by migration, with the chance to fulfil their potential.
He further said it would also provide migrant children with better access to education, health services and offer them stronger protection from exploitation and violence.
“Through the Compact, states can achieve stronger results in keeping families together and tackling xenophobia and discrimination.
“Today, more than 100 countries still have policies of migration detention for children.
“Imagine if alternatives to migration detention for children were adopted globally and the number of detained children fell from a million today to zero.
“Imagine if we could close the gap in access to education and health for migrant children so that such inequities did not exist.’’
He underscored the need to move beyond acknowledging the vulnerabilities of migrant children to maximising their roles in spurring development and broader prosperity.
“We need to do a better job of engaging them and listening to their voices, needs and concerns and aspiration for the future.
“Children and young people can and must be part of the solution to make migration safe for everyone.
“UNICEF remains ready to work with member states, UN agencies, local authorities and civil society.
“It is also ready to help engage children and youth in the implementation of the Global compact’s measures at local, national and global levels,’’ the director said.
– Dec. 10, 2018 @ 15:55 GMT |