GENEVA / UNICEF REFUGEE CHILDREN

18-May-2017 00:02:37
UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afsan Khan said the endless “misery, ruthless smugglers, rampant sexual and physical abuse, and forms of slavery and detention” faced by refugee and migrant children cannot go unchecked in this day and age “particularly in industrialized countries and amongst the wealthiest countries in the world.” UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / UNICEF REFUGEE CHILDREN
TRT: 02:37
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 May 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
17 May 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“In just over a week’s time, seven of the world’s most powerful nations are meeting in Sicily and that’s right on the shores where thousands of children continue to arrive with horrific tales of abuse and exploitation from their journeys. We have also estimated that about 200 children have tragically lost their lives this year crossing the central Mediterranean. The true figure is probably higher. Ninety-two percent of these children, into Italy, are travelling alone, and many of the deaths therefore go unreported and unaccounted for.”
4. Close up, programme pamphlets
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“What that means for children is that there is no end of misery, ruthless smugglers, rampant sexual and physical abuse, and forms of slavery and detention that we have not seen in many years. Our sense is this cannot go unchecked in this day and age particularly in industrialized countries and amongst the wealthiest countries in the world.”
7. Close up, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“We know there are very divided opinions on how to tackle migration, but we hope that the one thing that leaders can unite around is caring for vulnerable children and that they agree to put aside the politics of migration and see these children first and foremost as children. To this end next week we are launching a global campaign with billboards in Taormina where leaders arrive for two days of talks; to see a child as a child not as a burden, not as a political pawn, not as a criminal, and not as a threat.”
9. Med shot, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“So the question is, really, will the G7 have an open discussion on this that will allow for some tangible outcomes that will lead to improvement of lives of children and not get caught up in the political machinations?”
11. Close up, journalist
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Afshan Khan, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“In Europe in particular, there is a possibility to host and provide for children in a way that allows for decent opportunity for the future. What we really don’t want to see, whether it’s North America, Asia, or Europe, is children driven towards criminality because they see no other opportunity.”
13. Close up, journalists
14. Close up, journalist
STORYLINE
UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afsan Khan said the endless “misery, ruthless smugglers, rampant sexual and physical abuse, and forms of slavery and detention” faced by refugee and migrant children cannot go unchecked in this day and age “particularly in industrialized countries and amongst the wealthiest countries in the world.”

In a report released today (18 May), UNICEF said at least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children moving across borders were registered in 80 countries in 2015-2016, a near fivefold increase from 66,000 in 2010-2011. The report titled “A child is a child” notes that the total number of unaccompanied and separated children on the move worldwide was likely much higher as it explored the motivations behind their journeys and the risks they face along the way.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Wednesday, Khan said the report was specifically targeting the G7 summit which will take place on the Italian Island of Sicily next week. She said “seven of the world’s most powerful nations” are meeting in on the shores “of where thousands of children continue to arrive with horrific tales of abuse and exploitation from their journeys."

UNICEF called on governments to adopt its six-point agenda which includes protection from violence; ending child detention; keeping families together; ensuring them access to education and health; pressing for action on what caused them to be uprooted in the first place; and finally promoting measures to combat xenophobia in their destination countries.

Khan said, “The question is, really, will the G7 have an open discussion on this that will allow for some tangible outcomes that will lead to improvement of lives of children and not get caught up in the political machinations?”

The report stressed that should not be confined by national borders and called on states to carry through with their responsibility to uphold and protect the rights of all children within their borders. Khan said, “In Europe in particular, there is a possibility to host and provide for children in a way that allows for decent opportunity for the future.” She added, “What we really don’t want to see, whether it’s North America, Asia, or Europe, is children driven towards criminality because they see no other opportunity.”
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