26 February 2015 – “Since the beginning of the year, not a single week has gone by without reports of people, mostly from conflict-torn countries, crossing the Mediterranean on unsafe boats in search of sanctuary in Europe.
“Children are increasingly part of this exodus. Behind these journeys are individual stories of immense tragedy; the perils every child endures before, during and after these dangerous crossings are unfathomable. Many of these children are travelling without the protection of a parent or caretaker, and are vulnerable to risks of abuse and exploitation.
“Unicef welcomes the European Commission’s announcement that it will be increasing its aid to Italy to help with the influx of child migrants. The child migrants in the Mediterranean need all the support, care and assistance they are entitled to.
“Unicef believes that more must be done to address the root causes of these boat tragedies – including armed conflict, poverty and fear of persecution – as the only way to prevent them from happening.”
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Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk