Refugee & migrant crisis

Providing relief to vulnerable migrants 

Children in crisis: What you need to know

68 million people worldwide have fled their homes because of conflict, unrest or disaster. Children account for more than half of this total. In fact, over the past decade, 400,000 asylum applications were registered by unaccompanied and separated children. Child refugees face incredible risks and dangers – including disease, malnutrition, violence, labor exploitation and trafficking.

Migrating and refugee children and young people risk violence and abuse; poor nutrition and hunger; insufficient or no access to health care and education; and to be separated from their families. While the debate frequently focuses on emergency and border contexts, children and young people’s needs for alternative care and risks to lose parental care continue in countries of destination. They also face social exclusion and marginalization with negative long-term consequences.

Refugee camps and large reception centers are not safe places for children. We have seen, time and time again, that children without adequate shelter and protection are the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and the stress of long-term separation. Without proper support, they are more likely to face lasting educational challenges and social exclusion.

SOS Children’s Villages works to support children and families on the move and in countries of destination to help families to stay together as well as provide care and protection for unaccompanied and separated children.

How the refugee crisis impacts children

Conflicts have exacted a severe psychological and physical toll on millions of displaced children. They have seen their childhoods uprooted, families torn apart and loved ones killed. As refugees, these uniquely vulnerable children are targeted for trafficking, exploitation and discrimination.

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​How your support makes a difference


SOS Children’s Villages supports refugees and displaced children and families in 23 countries around the world. Our work is grounded in more than 75 years of experience providing care and protection for children. We protect the most vulnerable, providing family-like care for children in safe environments, and advocate for the rights and dignity of refugees and migrating people.

Thanks to our generous supporters, SOS offers assistance to children and their families along migration routes and in their new host countries. SOS child-friendly spaces give refugee and displaced children safe places in which to play, learn and regain a sense of normalcy. We also provide shelter, food, medical care and psychological support to refugee and migrant children, many of whom are traumatized and alone. And we help refugee families get back on their feet, through education, vocational training and counseling.

Since war broke out in February 2022, we have expanded our presence in Ukraine from two regions to 17 and relocated thousands of children and families out of high-risk zones, providing shelter, health care and employment opportunities in 15 neighboring countries. 

With the support of our generous donors and partners, we have directly helped 369,690 people in Ukraine, including 221,210 children since the war began. Still, more than 14.6 million people—including 4.1 million children—will need urgent humanitarian aid in 2024.

In March of 2024, SOS successfully evacuated 68 children and 11 employees and their families from our SOS Children's Village in Rafah, in southern Gaza, to a safer location in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Our village in Rafah continues admitting children who have lost parental care in the ongoing war and hosts more than 100 internally displaced people, many of them children. Your support is providing children with immediate, life-saving relief such as food, water, clothing and psychological support.


Venezuelan families fleeing their country’s economic collapse–and the attendant scarcity of food, medicine, and income opportunities–find temporary shelter and a variety of support services through SOS programs in Brazil and Colombia. 

Rohingya refugees fleeing extreme violence in Myanmar have access to physical and mental health care services, healthy food, and education through SOS Children’s Villages. 

On key migration routes in Europe, SOS has provided care and shelter to thousands of unaccompanied or separated children on the move to safety and better opportunities. We have also distributed food, clothing and hygiene supplies and offered counseling to refugee children and families escaping unbearable situations in Syria and other troubled countries.


Around the world, children have been abruptly uprooted from their homes and communities. Your support delivers life-saving essentials and the resources they need to learn, heal, grow and begin to build new lives. 


Video collection: Your compassion in action

Your support has changed the lives of hundreds of vulnerable children and families, delivering hope during the darkest of times.

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You can support displaced children and their families through their transition and until arrival in a host country with safe shelter, food, medical care and psychological support. Help protect refugee and migraitng children today!

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