October 20, 2021

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Statement by UNICEF Govt Director Henrietta Fore on unaccompanied and divided little ones evacuated from Afghanistan

NEW YORK, 7 September 2021 – “Since 14 August, hundreds of kids have been separated from their family members amidst chaotic ailments, including substantial-scale evacuations, in and all-around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Some of these youngsters had been evacuated on flights to Germany, Qatar and other nations.  
 
“UNICEF and our associates have registered about 300 unaccompanied and separated children evacuated from Afghanistan. We hope this variety to increase by means of ongoing identification endeavours.  
 
“I can only imagine how frightened these youngsters will have to have been to suddenly come across themselves without their families as the crisis at the airport unfolded or as they have been whisked absent on an evacuation flight. 
 
“UNICEF is deeply worried about the welfare of unaccompanied and divided children wherever they could be. They are among the most susceptible small children in the environment. It is critical that they are swiftly determined and stored safe all through family tracing and reunification processes. All get-togethers must prioritize the finest pursuits of the boy or girl and protect small children from abuse, neglect and violence.   
 
“During tracing and reunification procedures, kids need to be offered with harmless, temporary choice care, ideally with prolonged relatives customers or in a loved ones-based environment. Placement in just institutional treatment preparations ought to be a last vacation resort and only short term.  

“Governments of nations where unaccompanied and separated small children have family members should really cooperate and aid reunification and secure, authorized migration pathways for these little ones if it is in the child’s ideal desire. The definition of family members customers really should be adequately broad to put unaccompanied youngsters safely and securely with relatives who will care for them.
 
“Likewise, children moving with trustworthy grown ups should really continue to be with them if it is in their most effective interests to do so. Separating children from adults whom they know and from whom they acquire care could lead to additional harm.  
 
“All kids have the suitable to be with their family members. Events associated in evacuating and hosting men and women fleeing Afghanistan need to make each and every effort and hard work to reduce the separation of family members from happening in the to start with spot. This means making sure proper coordination amid civil and military services actors, setting up simple registration of youngsters and families, and verifying flight manifests. 

“UNICEF is offering specialized support to governments who have evacuated youngsters and people who are internet hosting them. Right now, our groups are on the floor at the Doha air foundation in Qatar and the Ramstein air base in Germany, doing work with authorities and our partners to sign up unaccompanied young children, deliver them with correct care and defense, and support tracing to bring them back again collectively with their households. 
 
“In Afghanistan, a lot more than 550,000 men and women have been displaced by conflict, the bulk in new weeks, and 10 million small children are in urgent want of humanitarian support. We are quite concerned about the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied and divided kids inside of the nation. UNICEF and our partners want unimpeded humanitarian entry to all pieces of Afghanistan to gather an correct image of their quantity and whereabouts. This will be essential to reaching them with safety and services. 
 
“Now and in the times to come, it is essential that all parties and the global community join us in prioritizing the wellbeing of children inside Afghanistan as well as people who have been evacuated.”