29 November 2016

SOS Children’s Villages Calls on European Union to Support Refugee and Migrant Children

Innsbruck, Austria, November 29, 2016 — During their journey to and within Europe, refugee and migrant children face a multitude of challenges – separation from their families, exploitation and a lack of access to basic services. This week, in partnership with 77 organizations, SOS Children’s Villages is urging the European Commission and European Union (EU) member states to step up protections for these vulnerable children.

“We are joining forces with more than 70 other organizations to urge EU action - in cooperation with civil society - to ensure that all children enjoy their rights and are empowered to fulfil their potential regardless of their migration status or that of their parents,” said Kélig Puyet, Head of Global Advocacy for SOS Children’s Villages.

In a joint statement released at the European Forum on the Rights of the Child in Brussels, SOS and its partners called for seven action points to protect children in migration. These points include prioritizing children in all migration and asylum policies, and adopting a coordinated and comprehensive action plan to ensure the needs of refugee and migrant children are met. 

In 2016, one in three people arriving to Greece’s shore were children.  In addition, the number of children arriving to Italy has doubled in comparison to 2015. SOS and its partners commented on the work being doing to assist these children but insist that more needs to be done.

“We acknowledge the work that is being done across Europe by different governments, EU institutions and agencies to address these challenges. The Forum is a key moment to discuss the positive policies and practices to be adapted and disseminated. However, these initiatives are not enough.”

To read the full statement and the seven action points, click here.

To learn more about SOS Children’s Villages and its response to the refugee crisis, click here