Children in migrantion

 

According to published statistics, over 250 million children are living in countries affected by conflict (UNICEF) and ​30 million children have been forced from their homes (UNICEF). In 2015, out of 19.5 million globally registered refugees half were children (UNHCR). Out of 1 million refugees and migrants who entered Europe in 2015, 27% were children (Europol). According to Europol, 10'000 unaccompanied migrant children can't be traced and are still missing.

 

Children in migration, even when accompanied, encounter suffering at many levels. They are deprived from most essential human needs and are under permanent high risk. Their body-mind systems are running at the surviving modus and long-term psychosomatic damage is getting deeply rooted. In such situation, their very essential human values get compromised and distorted.

 

Young migrants are similar to young trees. When we pull them out of their original place, damage their roots, expose them to storm and stop nourishing them, we can’t expect them to grow into healthy humans. If we want to revert all damages, more than just a regular maintenance will be required. Providing a shelter, clothing and food is good support but it is certainly not sufficient. Most important is to allow recovery of their inner world.

 

The future of each single child, nation and human race after all, will depend on how good we manage, keep or restore human values in children. 

 

Homeless children and teenagers

There are many reasons why children and young adults end up without home or place to sleep. Behind the face of every homeless young person is unique traumatic and heartbreaking story. External causes, such war or natural catastrophes can depreciate the whole families or even nations within a day. On the other side, internal causes are often built up over the years of suffering and are harder to solve. Causes belonging to this category are mainly physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse from parents or guardians. Such causes are mostly latent and often well covered. Children develop mechanisms, which help them handle abusive or depraved situation and the trigger, which make them rebel and leave the home can happen only years later.  

 

Depth and complexity of the problem is often underestimated, even in countries, which are considered economically and socially developed. Children carry vulnerability and are defenseless already before leaving home. Once on the street, children are facing additional problems in their struggle to survive. They are forced to sleep at unprotected shelters and start drifting in small criminal delicts. With distorted values and having only toxic relationships as a reference, they get easily driven into drugs and prostitution. For that reason, external protection is just a part of support homeless children need to get. They need to be reached at the deeper level so that they don’t become street children in the first place.

 

Orphanages & shelters

As estimated by UNICEF, over 140 million children worldwide are orphans.​ Apart from children who are left by their parents, millions of others are being orphaned as their parents died due to AIDS related illnesses. Millions more are being orphaned by poverty and war. Disgracefully for humans, the largest victims of the war’s cruelty are these defenseless children who are terrorized, often sexually abused, mutilated, forced to participate in killing or trained to be child soldiers.  “War orphanages” are strongly damaged and even long after war is over they continue to be traumatized by brutal experience they had to go through.

 

In many countries orphans are considered as outcasts. Throughout the world millions of children are kept in sub-standard orphanages and other institutions, suffering from inadequate food, clothing, medical care, lack of stimulation and neglect. Medical care for orphans is often limited and basic medical supplies are scarce. Children die due as victims of avoidable disease and malnutrition - and millions more are condemned to suffer poor health.

 

Most of orphanages would not have a chance even for getting basic education what would handicap them for entire life. 

 

 

Deprived children

Children represent almost half of all people living in extreme poverty although they make up roughly a third of the world’s population (UNICEF)

Worldwide, there are 168 million who are child labourers, accounting for almost 11 percent of children (ILO). 

A deprived child is a child under 18 years of age who is not given proper prenatal care, control, education, or other care and control necessary for the physical and emotional well being of the child. The term may also refer to a destitute, homeless or abandoned child; a child without a parent, guardian, or custodian; or a child whose home, by reason of neglect, cruelty or depravity on the part of the parents, guardian or other person in whose care it may be, is an unfit place for such child.

  • 124 million children and adolescents are out of school (UNESCO).

  • As of the start of 2014, 1 in 11 children of primary-school age is out of school, totaling 59 million children (UNICEF).

  • There are 62.8 million children worldwide who suffer from acute malnutrition (World Bank).

  • In 2014, 1 in 7 children were estimated to be underweight in less developed regions (WHO).

  • In 2014, about 16 percent—or 95 million children—of children under 5 who live in less developed regions were underweight (WHO).

  • Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year (UNICEF).

  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone (WHO).

 

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.  Every year, millions of children, women and young men are trafficked in countries around the world. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, fear to disappoint own family and/or fear of law enforcement.  The most susceptible victims for traffickers are psychologically or emotionally vulnerable individuals, families who experience economic hardship or lack of social safety net, children and youth who lost their homes and families due to natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even when help is at hand.

Consequences of trafficking are severe, particularly considering psychosomatic development of young victims. Wounds are deep and hard to heal specially because of lost trust in human values and own worth. 

 

Women in need

Almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. The prevalence estimates of intimate partner violence range from 23.2% in high-income countries and 24.6% in the WHO Western Pacific region to 37% in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, and 37.7% in the WHO South-East Asia region.

 

In addition to intimate partner violence, significant number of women report having been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner, although data for non-partner sexual violence are more limited.

 

Factors associated with intimate partner and sexual violence occurs at individual, family, community and wider society levels.  Gender inequality and norms on the acceptability of violence against women are a root cause of violence against women.

Violence causes serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for women. They also affect their children, families and finally societies too.

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