An estimated 10 million children were displaced by weather-related shocks in 2020 alone. Approximately one billion (almost half of the world's 2.2 billion children), in contrast, live in 33 countries considered to be at high risk due to climate change impacts. And yet at present, most child-related migration policies do not consider climatic and environmental factors, while the vast majority of climate change policies neglect to address the specific needs of children.
It was also to fill these gaps that UNICEF, IOM, Georgetown University and the United Nations University in recent weeks presented the Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Change, the first international guidelines dedicated to promoting the empowerment of migrant children in the context of climate change.
At the heart of the document are the nine guiding principles to always keep in mind to address the unique and complex vulnerabilities of children on the move, both within and across borders due to the negative impacts of climate change. Developed in partnership with young climate and migration activists, academics, experts, policymakers, practitioners and UN agencies, the principles provide national and local governments, international organisations and civil society groups with a basis for building policies that protect the rights of children.
The document can be consulted and downloaded from the UNICEF website.