Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir (Iceland, UEL), PACE rapporteur on “Stop violence against, and exploitation of, migrant children”, has called for urgent action from European governments to assist internally displaced children, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“UNICEF’s new report, Lost at Home, states that a staggering 19 million children were living in internal displacement due to conflict and violence in 2019, the highest number ever recorded,” said the rapporteur, who is also first Vice-Chair of PACE’s Migration Committee.
“The largest numbers of internally displaced children are in the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. In Europe the largest numbers of displaced children are located in Turkey and Ukraine. Often deprived of decent living conditions and healthcare, sometimes held in detention, internally displaced children are especially vulnerable to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and should be given urgent access to proper healthcare and protection,” she said.
“European governments, in co-operation with civil society, should strive to put an end to the conflicts which provoke the forced displacement of people and invest in humanitarian efforts to help countries in regions suffering from poverty due to conflict and climate change.”