UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake (photo by AP)
The United Nations Children’s Fund says some 50 million children have been “uprooted” across the globe, calling on world nations to show “compassion” for such minors.
In a report titled “Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children,” UNICEF said almost 50 million children have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced within their own countries.
The report said the number of child refugees jumped by about 75 percent between 2010 and 2015.
The children have been forcibly displaced from their home countries as a result of violent conflicts or persecution, said Anthony Lake, the UNICEF’s executive director, in a statement on Wednesday.
Lake said the unforgettable images of children such as Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnicity whose body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015, “have shocked the world.”
This image taken on September 2, 2015 shows the small lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, after drowning at sea while attempting to flee with his family to Europe. (By AP)
Such images, Lake said, are examples of the millions of children across the globe in need of help.
“Each picture, each girl or boy, represents many millions of children in danger… and this demands that our compassion for the individual children we see be matched with action for all children,” the UNICEF’s chief said.
A portion of the children who flee war and persecution in their home countries attempt dangerous journeys to Europe along with their families. The trips are more often than not made on board unseaworthy vessels, which sometimes capsize and sink their occupants.
The UNICEF report calling for compassion comes at a time when some European countries are displaying apathy toward the refugees arriving in Europe in large numbers.
The European Council’s President Donald Tusk announced on Sunday that the EU has little more room left for refugees and urged other countries to take in some of the asylum-seekers.
Even when the refugees are allowed into European countries after arrival, they are subjected to rigorous processes in order for asylum to be granted to them. If they disqualify, they are deported.