The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Georgetown University, and the United Nations University recently launched new guidelines to provide the first-ever global policy framework that will help protect, include, and empower children on the move in the context of climate change.
In 2020 alone, nearly 10 million children were displaced in the aftermath of weather-related shocks.
These principles were developed in collaboration with young climate and migration activists, academics, experts, policymakers, practitioners, and UN agencies.The principles are based on the globally ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child and are further informed by existing operational guidelines and frameworks.
The Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Change has given nine principles that address the unique and layered vulnerabilities of children who have been displaced due to climate change.Currently, most child-related migration policies do not consider climate and environmental factors, while most climate change policies overlook the unique needs of children.
Right now one billion children – nearly half of the world’s 2.2 billion children are living in 33 countries at high risk of the impacts of climate change. And millions of children could be displaced in the coming years.
As these guiding principles provide national and local governments, international organisations and civil society groups with a foundation to build policies that protect children’s rights, there is a growing call urging governments and organisations to implement the same.