NEW YORK/GENEVA/BRUSSELS/ HONG KONG, 23 September 2015 – “UNICEF welcomes the recognition by the EU that the best interests of children are paramount in their relocation within the EU and that the special needs of children for health care and protection should be a primary concern.
“We are pleased that particular attention has been paid in the EU’s latest proposals to the vulnerability of child refugees and migrants and urge that efforts are increased to care for and support the children most of whom have experienced terrifying journeys, and are exhausted and frightened.
“UNICEF continues to advocate that the rights and dignity of refugee and migrant children be fully respected, and that adequate investments are made in specialized care for all children on the move, and that support and protection is provided to children who are unaccompanied and separated. Child refugees and migrants should never be detained and criminalized simply because they are refugees or migrants.
“With children making up 1 in every 4 asylum seekers in Europe this year, every effort is required to safeguard the rights and protection of all child refugees and migrants – not only when they arrive in Europe but also in the countries from which they are coming, notably Syria and its neighbouring countries where some 2 million children are currently displaced."
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