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More than 28 million children 'uprooted' by conflict and face further dangers — UNICEF report

07 September 2016

Millions of children driven from their homes due to violence and conflict or in the hopes of finding a better and safer future face further dangers along the way — including the risk of drowning on sea crossings, malnourishment and dehydration, trafficking, kidnapping, rape and even murder — according to the new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

"Indelible images of individual children — Aylan Kurdi’s small body washed up on a beach after drowning at sea or Omran Daqneesh’s stunned and bloody face as he sat in an ambulance after his home was destroyed — have shocked the world," UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said today in a news release issued by the agency.

"But each picture, each girl or boy, represents many millions of children in danger — and this demands that our compassion for the individual children we see be matched with action for all children," he added.

According to the report, nearly 50 million children, across the globe, have migrated across or within borders, or been forcibly displaced. More than half that number — 28 million — are boys and girls who have fled violence and insecurity.

It further notes that more and more children are crossing borders on their own. In 2015, over 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries — triple the number in 2014. Unaccompanied children are among those at the highest risk of exploitation and abuse, including by smugglers and traffickers.

In terms of the geographic spread, the report notes that Turkey hosts the largest total number of recent refugees and very likely the largest number of child refugees in the world. Furthermore, relative to its population, Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees by an overwhelming margin: roughly 1 in 5 people in Lebanon is a refugee.

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