Save the Children welcomes the adoption of historic global pact on refugees
Save the Children welcomes today’s adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees at the United Nations Global Assembly. Conflict and persecution have forced millions of children to flee their homes, risking the loss of a future that every child deserves. This historic document paves the way for greater responsibility sharing between countries, which will protect child refugees by:
- ensuring effective measures to save lives and access to appropriate care
- making protection of children consistent across borders
- encouraging greater allocation of resources to child protection
- improving the provision and quality of education
- ensuring that the best interests of each child is at the heart of any decisions about their future
An overwhelming majority of 181 UN members voted to adopt the resolution affirming the Compact, providing a strong platform for international collaboration. Save the Children is disappointed by the votes against the Compact by the United States and Hungary, however we hope these states will play their part to support its implementation.
More than half of the world’s 25.4 million refugees are children.* Without better coordinated international assistance and support to host communities, many will not be able to access care or basic services. Having already lost their homes, many child refugees also lose their education - four million refugee children do not attend school, an increase of half a million in just one year.**
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International said:
““Conflict and persecution have forced millions of children to flee their homes. This historic agreement paves the way for greater responsibility sharing between countries, which will go a long way to protect child refugees and give them the future they have the right to.
“Now the Compact for Refugees has been adopted, everyone must work to ensure it is implemented to its full potential.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
* For well over a decade, the number of people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution has steadily increased. As of June 2018, there were 25.4 million refugees across the world – more than half of whom are children. Please see the UNHCR Statistical Yearbook.
** Four million refugee children do not attend school, an increase of half a million of out-of-school refugee children in just one year. Please see UNHCR Turn the Tide: Refugee Education in Crisis.
*** Save the Children is a co-chair of The Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts, a partnership bringing together 30 UN, philanthropic and aid organisations to ensure that children’s rights are at the heart of the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees.
“What refugee children tell us they want most of all is an education. So we are delighted that the Compact pledges that all refugee children will be in school and learning within a few months of crossing an international border and that funding should be provided to enable this, particularly support for host countries. There is no time to waste to make this promise a reality for refugee children.”