UNICEF calls urgent action to end child immigration
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has on Friday called for an end to child immigration following the recent shipwreck that claimed the lives of 27 persons including children.
According to the Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe, Afshan Khan, made this call in a statement titled, ‘UNICEF calls for urgent action to avoid further loss of life at sea.’
Expressing shock at the news, Khan said, “I am shocked by the news of the recent shipwreck off the French coast, which claimed the lives of at least 27 people, including children and a pregnant woman.
“This tragedy is the deadliest on record along the English Channel, is a stark reminder that urgent collective action is needed to stop the avoidable loss of life at sea and prevent similar events from happening again in the future.”
As a means to forestall further occurrence, Khan called on member states of UNICEF to put an end to child immigration and exploitation from traffickers.
He said, “We, as UNICEF, renew our urgent call to all member states to scale up search and rescue operations at sea, including safe disembarkation;
“To provide safe legal pathways to protect children on the move and prevent them from being exposed to dangerous journeys and to violence, abuse and exploitation by traffickers and smugglers.
“Not to return asylum seeking and refugee children to any country unless this is determined to be in their best interest, as per legal standards; (and)
“To end child immigration detention and keep families together.”