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About 50 million Children in the world are either Refugees, Migrants or Internally displaced, says UNICEF Report

Children are especially vulnerable to sex traffickers, criminal gangs and human smugglers when they are on the move

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Representational Image UNICEF For Children. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

he U.N. Children’s agency warns that the smallest people are often the biggest victims in the global refugee and migration crisis.

“There are nearly 50 million children in the world that are either refugees, migrants or internally displaced,” Unicef Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth told reporters at a briefing on the new report.

He said of that number, 28 million children have fled violence or conflict. “That is a near doubling of child refugees in the last decade. It is a tripling of the numbers of unaccompanied children,” he said. “It’s a growing crisis; it’s a children’s crisis.”

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Children are especially vulnerable to sex traffickers, criminal gangs and human smugglers when they are on the move.

Last year, almost half of all registered refugee children came from just two countries – Syria and Afghanistan. But this crisis affects children from all parts of the world, including Central America, Asia and Africa.

The report notes that when and if children reach destination countries, the threats they face often do not disappear, leaving them in continuing need of assistance and protection.

UN summit

Later this month, as world leaders gather in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly, there will be two separate summits on migration and refugees.

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host the first meeting and U.S. President Barack Obama the second one.

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UNICEF’s Forsyth said he hopes the summits will result in clear commitments and practical measures for children in these circumstances, including on how to keep families together and making sure displaced children have access to health care and education.

The UNICEF report calls for addressing the root causes of migration and refugees, mainly conflict, violence and extreme poverty. It also urges measures to prevent xenophobia and discrimination against refugees, in addition to measures to prevent exploitation and abuse of children on the move. (VOA)

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71% Parents Feel That Video Games May Have Positive Impact on Kids

71% parents believe video games good for teens

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Video Games
86 per cent of parents agree that teeagers spend too much time on video games. Pixabay

Seventy-one per cent of parents believe that video games may have a positive and healthy impact on their kids’ lifestyle, while 44 per cent try to restrict video game content, says a new study.

According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in US, 86 per cent of parents agree that teeagersspend too much time gaming. Parents also reported very different gaming patterns for teenage boys than girls.

Twice as many parents said that their teen boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming.

“Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,” said poll co-director Gary Freed from University of Michigan.

Video Games
Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games. Pixabay

“Parents should take a close look at their teen’s gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,” Freed added.

Overall, parents surveyed said that gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life, such as family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).

Parents of teens ages 13-15 (compared to those with older teens) are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate (43 per cent versus 18 per cent), encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen’s bedroom.

Parents polled also use different strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming, including encouraging other activities (75 per cent), setting time limits (54 per cent), providing incentives to limit gaming (23 per cent) and hiding gaming equipment (14 percent).

The researchers noted that while gaming may be a fun activity in moderation, some teens -such as those with attention issues — are especially susceptible to the constant positive feedback and the stimulus of video games.

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This may lead to prolonged play that is disruptive to other elements of a teen’s life, the researchers added.

“Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games,” Freed said. (IANS)