Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts Statement issued at the Global Refugee Forum 16-18 December 2019

Children represent 52% of all refugees globally. Their protection, support and empowerment need to be a priority for action. What % of pledges will put children at their heart?

The Initiative for Child Rights in the Global Compacts calls on donors, refugee hosting countries, international agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders including the private sector to make strong pledges and commitments and prioritise action to ensure that children’s rights are at the heart of the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).

The Initiative specifically encourages strong commitments to ensure that:

1. Laws, policies and programmes guarantee access to all child rights for refugee children irrespective of their status, keeping the best interests of the child at the centre

2. Children are protected and have access to services that prevent and respond to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of refugee children

3. Children have access to key services such as education, health, WASH and these integrate child protection approaches

4. Additional, multi-year funding are committed to child-sensitive refugee programming, particularly in underfunded protracted refugee situations

5. Procedures for returns/resettlement/reintegration are child sensitive and have the best interests of children at heart

6. Children and youth are engaged in identifying needs, participating in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programmes and policies

The Initiative pledges to:

1. Convene regular opportunities for learning, exchange and collaboration where States, civil society and other stakeholders from different regions can exchange experience and learn from one another on child and gender sensitive GCR implementation. States and other stakeholders will be able to draw on and benefit from the child rights and multi-sector programmatic experience and expertise of our multi-stakeholder membership to support child and gender sensitive GCR implementation. Interested parties will also be able to exchange learning from relevant experiences of implementing the Global Compact for Migration as the Initiative is focusing on children in both Compacts.

2. Offer its expertise in facilitating youth engagement and advise stakeholders on how to do so. For this purpose, the Initiative will convene face-to-face meetings and online spaces open to interested stakeholders whether they have made a pledge or not and accessible on a one-off or on an ongoing basis as relevant.

3. Start with a roundtable discussion in early 2020 on “Beyond the pledging –what now for children?” and will follow with thematic and regional opportunities for engagement. Initiative members will contribute time and resources.

We will seek the active engagement and expression of interest of States and key stakeholders (including funders and local authorities in key regions.

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