VOA News reports on the recent publication of a ‘Roadmap for Action’ developed by UNHCR, UNICEF and IRC. In response to the current situation in which “thousands of unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children risk exploitation, trafficking, abuse and violence because European asylum countries have failed to protect them”, the Roadmap aims to provide recommendations and guidance on what needs to be done to protect these children. The Roadmap was developed through a detailed consultation with 100 different practitioners and various European governments, with input from refugee and migrant children themselves.
The Roadmap emphasizes that it is inaccurate to think that the children are safe as soon as they reach European soil and that a lot needs to be done to ensure the protection and wellbeing of these vulnerable children. The main recommendations of the Roadmap relate to “the need to identify children, register them through child-friendly procedures and ‘build a relationship of trust with them as early as possible’”, as well as the need to provide a guardian who assumes responsibility for the child.