Nearly 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes around the world, and 28 million of those are refugees fleeing violence and conflict—and “that is a conservative estimate,” according to a UNICEF report published Tuesday.
“What can the future hold for these children—denied so much of what they need?”
—Anthony Lake, UNICEFThe total number of child refugees doubled between 2005 and 2015, the report says, and children now comprise half of all refugees despite accounting for less than a third of the global population.
The report, “Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children,” (pdf) presents “for the first time, comprehensive, global data about these children,” UNICEF writes.
A stunning 100,000 child refugees are traveling without their parents or families.
“Children do not bear any responsibility for the bombs and bullets, the gang violence, persecution, the shriveled crops and low family wages driving them from their homes,” the United Nations agency argues in the report’s executive summary. “They are, however, always the first to be affected by war, conflict, climate change and poverty.”
“[T]oday, nearly 1 in every 200 children in the world is a child refugee,” the report observes. “In 2005, the ratio was roughly 1 in every 350 children.”
The report also examined the number of children internally displaced in their own countries by war.
Children displaced internally by the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq account for nearly one third of all children displaced internally around the world in 2015, the report found.
And child refugees fleeing endless war in two countries, Syria and Afghanistan, represented one half of all child migrants worldwide.