UNICEF Ireland responds to reports child found in a shipping container in Wexford

19th October 2016

DUBLIN, Wed 19 Oct 2016 In light of reports that a small child was amongst a group of five Iraqi Kurds found in a shipping container in New Ross, Co. Wexford on Sunday night, UNICEF Ireland is renewing its call for a Europe-wide approach to the plight of refugees and migrants.

The discovery of the three-year-old girl is not only alarming but an indication of the desperate situation uprooted children find themselves in, and the need for urgent and safe solutions.

Often fleeing conflict and violence, as well as poor conditions in camps in Europe, children on the move face further dangers along the way, and even the possibility of death.

UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power said today: “Our failure to provide for children affected by crisis puts children like this toddler directly in harm’s way. The onus is on governments to safeguard children. We call on leaders to be strong, compassionate and bold in their commitments to protect children on the move.  Failure to do so will result in further unacceptable risks to children and the certainty that will face more incidents like this one.”

UNICEF says children are children first, not refugee children, not migrant children. Their best interests should guide decisions by the authorities at every step of the way.

According to “Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children”, a recent UNICEF report, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted, migrating across borders or forcibly displaced within their own countries. More than half– a shocking 28 million – have been uprooted because of conflict.

Children represent a disproportionate and growing proportion of those who have sought refuge outside their countries of birth: they make up about a third of the global population but about half of all refugees.

ENDS

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UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being 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 has been operating for 70 years.

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For more information, please contact:

Aedín Donnelly, Communications and Media Manager for UNICEF Ireland | aedin@unicef.ie Tel: +353 1 809 0281 | Mob: +353 85 1395272