Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsGive them a voice and provide them with all the services they need in order to become great adults. The care workers need to really pay attention for any signs of violence and harassment that they may suffer. They teach them they are human being and they have the right to do whatever they do and to dream big actually. I think it's important to think about all the aspects of what a child needs-- if it's education, if it's help, if it's just that extra support that they might need. Well, first of all, they should be convinced of their cause and they should put a lot of love into it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsEspecially listen to the children and give them the chance to say what they wish. They're here to cooperate. They're not here to teach them. They're here to cooperate, to work together. Providing a safe space for them so that they would be able to achieve their potentials. I think they need to take in consideration more the social and psychological effects that happen to them. They should have a collaboration with many others. Give them access to education and information and ensure that they understand the processes and the rights that they are entitled to. Love, more love, and give them the necessary peace that they deserve. Hello again, and welcome to the start of Week 1 of your course.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 secondsAt the start of this week, we'll be thinking about children on the move and those that are unaccompanied and separated. To help us identify the different support unaccompanied and separated children need, we'll begin by considering some of the reasons they're travelling by themselves and the risks they face. It's so important we use this information to change some of the wrong and the discriminatory perceptions about why children are on the move, perceptions that can prevent their access to the support they should be receiving.

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondWe'll also look at some of the international agreements that should guide our work, and particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and the recently agreed Global Compacts for Refugees and Migrants. I know there are many challenges and dilemmas being faced every day in the delivery of support to unaccompanied and separated children, especially trying to find them suitable alternative care and access to other services. So we'll discuss some of these challenges, and I'll be asking about services for unaccompanied and separated children in your country and any ideas and thoughts you might have about how these challenges could be overcome.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsAt the end of the week, you'll be introduced to Aden's story, a short film about a young, unaccompanied child. This week we'll meet Aden and his family. And for the rest of the course, at the end of every week we'll see different episodes of Aden's story. This will allow us to follow his journey and find out what happens to him. So thank you so much for joining this course, and I really hope you enjoyed this week.

Welcome to Week 1

In Week 1 we will discuss who unaccompanied and separated children on the move are. Why do some children leave their families and travel by themselves across different countries? What risks do they face and what are the international agreements that guide our work? We will start to explore international treaties and guidance, including the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

While we were developing this course, we had the opportunity to speak to children and young people from around the world and ask them to tell us about issues they thought were important. Throughout the next six weeks, we will also hear from young people who attended a youth conference in Morocco, in December 2018. They have either been unaccompanied or separated children themselves, or work to support children on the move. We would like to thank Toyib Aremu, Augusto Baroncruz, Bassey Bassey, Angelico Bemena, Chan Woo Chimg, Unurk Deep, Manar Eldeib, Niels de Fraguier, Idrissa Gado Saley, Gian Guglielmelli, Natalie Haas, Nael Khader, Carl Kristiansson, Anjuli Moll, Charlotte Myers, Wennes Naya, Meher Niger, Mirama Sima, Mariane Quisfaio, Rio, Salma Soussi, Roxanne Tajbakush and Lina Zdruli.

In this video, we hear Mariane, Gian, Unurk, Carl, Natalie, Nael, Toyib, Rio, Roxanne and Bassey answer the question: What can care workers do better to support unaccompanied and separated children?

This is followed by Chrissie introducing us to the topics we will cover in the course this week.

By the end of the week we hope you will feel comfortable with the following topics:

  • Which children are ‘children on the move’ and which are ‘unaccompanied’ or ‘separated’
  • The different reasons children are on the move
  • The risks that unaccompanied and separated children face
  • An understanding of some of the key international guidelines which form the framework for response to and protection of unaccompanied and separated children
  • Acknowledging the dilemmas and challenges in our work to support unaccompanied and separated children and finding suitable alternative care for them


We have prepared a ‘Terminology’ document that contains some of the key words and their meaning that we will use throughout the course. You can download this document in the ‘Downloads’ section at the bottom of the screen. If you can, we suggest you print this document, then you will be able to refer to it easily as you work through the course.

*Spanish, French and Arabic translations of all course pages are available as ‘Downloads’ below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

University of Strathclyde