Manuals, Toolkits and Guidance, Reports

Protecting Children on the Move: A guide to programming for children affected by migration and displacement

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English, Spanish


pdf (4.5 MiB)


Save the Children

In these turbulent times, as dramatic stories of refugees, displaced people and migrants hit our news headlines on a daily basis, never has the need to protect children on the move felt so urgent. The surge in protracted crises and conflicts, climate change induced environmental degradation, natural disasters and rising global inequalities are all pushing increasing numbers of children to leave their homes. And whilst we see and hear desperate stories of children arriving in overcrowded boats, being separated from families at borders or living in miserable conditions in makeshift camps, we also increasingly hear of attitudes hardening, borders closing, and children greeted with hostility. 

Save the Children is committed to reaching the most marginalised and vulnerable children, and there can be no doubt that the lived experiences of refugee, asylum-seeking, trafficked and migrant children makes them amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised children that we see in our work. The dangers inherent in their journeys, the threat of separation from loved ones, of trafficking, of mental and physical harm means that these children need our support to access the services and help they need to survive, recover and rebuild their lives.

This programming guide is a tool to help our staff in the many varied and complex situations in which they work to provide much-needed care and support to children on the move. It was developed by the Children on the Move Task Group that brings together our most experienced practitioners across the world within the framework of our Child Protection Global Theme. We hope and trust that this new guidance, which draws on the experience of staff in Save the Children’s programmes around the globe, will strengthen our response and enable us to better protect these children whether when considering a move, in transit or on arrival at a new destination. 

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