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Risks that unaccompanied and separated children face

Video featuring Gurvinder Singh

In this video we hear from Gurvinder Singh. Gurvinder is the Child Protection Advisor for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). He tells us about some of the risks that face children moving alone. In particular, Gurvinder highlights the risk of sexual and gender based violence – also known as SGBV – towards children on the move alone. The SGBV risks include sexual and physical abuse, trafficking, sexual exploitation and child marriage. SGBV is the result of unequal power, including that between male and females, and children are disproportionately affected. There can be terrible and long-lasting emotional, physical and health consequences for children who experience SGBV.

SGBV is happening when children are in their place of origin, in transit, at their final destination, and when they return home. There is very clear evidence that girls moving alone are at high risk of SGBV but we must also recognise that boys are vulnerable too. Gurvinder refers to a survey in which only 20% of children on the move said they knew what exploitation is. This points to the lack of basic information, tools or support children have that can help protect them from SGBV.

Gurvinder highlights the importance of all frontline workers acquiring the knowledge and skills to keep children safe from SGBV.

The ‘See Also’ section below has links to other reading material that may be of interest to you.

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Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

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