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Why should we treat unaccompanied and separated children with care and dignity?

Why should we treat unaccompanied and separated children with care and dignity?
Because they are the most vulnerable. Because regardless of their immigration status, they are children and they are human beings. They deserve the best, and they need the– all support they can receive to fulfil their potential for the future. Where I come from– I’m Maori, indigenous from New Zealand, and our children are the future. Because it will define their future and it will define the persons and citizen they are going to be. Because we’ve been kids and we know how kids suffer when they don’t have someone to accompany them and I think that government’s have the responsibility to make sure that they are really good. It’s the fundamentals. How would we not do that to build our own future?
Well I think we should treat all children on the move or all children with care and dignity, but obviously those that are separated from their families or caretakers are specifically vulnerable. They’re not in their usual care environment, and that’s where other actors have to come in to make sure that those children get the care they need. We should deal with these children with care and dignity because they’re children and they’re human beings and they deserve to have the principle of non-discrimination applied to them as any other child in any country at any time. Children who are unaccompanied and separated are facing really, really difficult challenges. They are separated from their families. They’re extremely vulnerable to violence, abuse, neglect.
They really need to be able to have access to protection services and feel that they are welcome, respected, and protected where they arrive. I don’t understand why you would treat children with anything but care and dignity. Doesn’t matter if they’re on the move. A child is a child, so I think that’s just a moral obligation. In our culture, a child is considered your heart. Why would you treat your heart with any less care and dignity?

The meeting of the UN General Assembly in Morocco in December 2018 to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was attended by many people from different national and international NGOs and UN agencies. We asked some of them to tell us: Why should we treat unaccompanied and separated children with care and dignity? In this video you can hear their answers.

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Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

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