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»Auf der Mittelmeer-Route werden Flüchtlingskinder schwer misshandelt«

Studie von UNICEF, 12.9.2017 (engl. Originalfassung)

Young migrants and refugees set out to escape harm or secure better futures – and face staggering risks in the process. For 17-year- old Mohammad, who travelled through Libya to seek asylum in Italy, violence and persecution back home meant the choice was clear: “We risked our lives to come here,” he says, “we crossed a sea. We knew it is not safe, so we sacrificed. We do it, or we die.”
For children and youth on the move via the Mediterranean Sea routes to Europe, the journey is marked by high levels of abuse, trafficking and exploitation. Some are more vulnerable than others: those travelling alone, those with low levels of education and those undertaking longer journeys. Most vulnerable of all are those who, like Mohammad, come from sub-Saharan Africa.
These findings come from a new UNICEF and International Organization for Migration (IOM) analysis of the journeys of some 11,000 migrant and refugee children (adolescents aged 14–17) and youth (18–24), as recorded in their responses to the Displacement Tracking Matrix Flow Monitoring Surveys conducted by IOM along the Central and Eastern Mediterranean routes to Europe in 2016 and 2017.
The analysis reveals that while adolescents and youth are at greater risk than adults on both routes, the Central Mediterranean route to Italy is singularly dangerous. It takes most young migrants and refugees through Libya, where they contend with pervasive lawlessness and violence and are often detained, by state authorities and others.

As the world continues to grapple with the reality of migration and displacement, the findings from this report underscore the urgent need for action. To protect the most vulnerable among those on the move, UNICEF and IOM call for a multi-pronged strategy that addresses the interplay of factors that expose migrant and refugee children and youth to risk – or help keep them safe.
Such a strategy includes expanding safe and regular migration channels to dampen the demand for smugglers, while fighting trafficking and exploitation. To enhance the resilience and protect the rights of children and youth, it entails investing in education and other basic services, coordinating child protection efforts across countries, and fighting racism and xenophobia in the countries migrants and refugees travel through and the ones in which they seek to make their lives.

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