IOM Director General reiterates commitment to protect migrant children

IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, said Monday 12th, 2017  that the organization will continue to strive for migrant children’s wellbeing and best interests across the wide spectrum of activities.

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Child migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos. © IOM/Amanda Nero 2015

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) joined more than 20 UN and civil society organizations to unite around the rights of children, especially children on the move, at the Global Conference on Children on the Move, in Berlin, Germany

Swing said with intergovernmental discussions leading up to the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees currently taking place, all parties must work together to address the needs of migrant children consistent with their human rights.

The conference aims to ensure that both Global Compacts on migrants and on refugees take into account children’s priorities and concerns.

“Every day at the UN Migration Agency, we work with migrant children. Some have been compelled to move accompanied by relatives or guardians or on their own due to conflict, disasters, fear and despair.

 

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Photo Credit: IOM South Africa

Other children migrate in search of better socio-educational opportunities and ultimately to pursue their own development and that of the society they live in,” said Swing.

 

“We want to ensure that child migration is always in the best interests of the child and that when it is not, sustainable solutions are found for children and their families both at home or in a new home elsewhere. These solutions should ensure that children are not left behind and that they are not exploited or even worse: trafficked. All migrant children are entitled to care and protection regardless of their migratory status,” concluded Ambassador Swing.

Different factors contribute to migrant children’s situations of vulnerability, including their age, risk factors at individual, household, community and structural levels, the reasons why they have migrated, and the conditions they face during travel, transit, and at destination.

IOM will continue to strive for migrant children’s wellbeing and best interests across the wide spectrum of activities the Organization is pursuing in support to all Governments, who are ultimately responsible for their protection.

IOM values this inclusive partnership and its goals especially as the consultations progress for the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – a major global process, to which IOM is extending technical and policy expertise as requested by UN Member States

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Categories: Human interest

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