Protect Refugee Women, Children and Unaccompanied Minors from Violence

Green Cross is one of 16 organizations to sign the Declaration to Protect Women, Children and Unaccompanied Minors from Violence.

Currently, the highest number of people since World War II is driven to leave their homes because of armed conflicts, climate change or other issues which make it impossible for them to stay in their home regions. Globally, more than 60 million refugees are exposed to unbearable conditions, either in their own countries, in neighbouring countries or in countries even further away. For all these refugees, their situation is dire and a global humanitarian approach is needed to better address these challenges and to effectively address the causes forcing people to flee. However, we see certain demographics to be particularly vulnerable and like to shed light on what needs to be done to start better protecting them.

We call on governments, international organisations and other key actors to:

Develop a cross-border coordinated strategy to track and better protect vulnerable cases
Ensure that transit and reception facilities are built in a child- and gender-sensitive manner, prioritising women and children’s safety, and are staffed with personnel trained to identify and assist victims
Establish well-lit, gender-segregated facilities, as well as facilities for families, including private and lockable sanitation and health facilities, child-friendly spaces, and safe private spaces
Ensure the availability of targeted response services for victims of violence
Ensure that the principles of gender equality, non-discrimination and mutual respect are guiding principles in destination facilities
Ensure effective systems of legal guardianship for unaccompanied minors, and that family tracing and reunification schemes are effective and fast
Ensure that women, children, and unaccompanied minors are provided with comprehensive information on their rights in a language they can understand
Increase political will to find humane solutions instead of closing borders. These include but are not limited to addressing the root causes of the refugee crisis.

With political will and coordinated, comprehensive action, we will be able to ensure the safety of these vulnerable groups in need of protection.

Read the full statementhere.