Refugee Survey Quarterly: Children at Risk
This December 2008 issue of Refugee Survey Quarterly focuses on children at risk and examines the situation of children seeking asylum and safety, children obliged to work, and children who are caught up in armed conflict, including notably child soldiers.
The issue presents papers of the 13th International Humanitarian Conference organized by Webster University in Geneva on 21 February 2007.
The articles in this issue show how the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and others are working both to improve the identification of risks in the wider protection environment and of individual protection risks faced by children, which may on their own or in combination act to place children at heightened risk, and to strengthen responses to these risks. In the UNHCR context, this approach is exemplified in the two Conclusions of the Executive Committee on Women and Girls at Risk and Children at Risk, the full texts of which are given in the Documents Section of this issue.1 It is interesting to see the similarities in this approach with that of the ICRC to the risks of forced recruitment faced by children in conflict situations.
The contributions to this issue highlight the multi-faceted challenges to protecting children at risk, whether they were young Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany or are unaccompanied children in mixed migration movements today, child soldiers in contemporary armed conflicts, or children seeking to rebuild their lives after the war in former Yugoslavia. The articles also bring out the importance of the developing legal framework in international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law which is contributing to the strengthening of child protection.
To access the journal, please see the journal web site