Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Change

In November 2020, UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly hosted a virtual symposium in order to better understand how children and youth are affected by climate-related migration and displacement and to enhance their visibility in the public policy discourse.27 The symposium brought together a small group of representatives from United Nations and other development agencies, academics, experts, civil society, policymakers and practitioners as well as young climate and migration activists. Discussions at the symposium highlighted that at present, there is no global policy framework for addressing the needs and rights of children moving in the context of climate change.28 Where child-related migration policies do exist, they do not consider climate and environmental factors, and where climate change policies exist they usually overlook children’s needs.29 Symposium participants recommended that developing a set of Guiding Principles for safeguarding the rights and well-being of children and youth moving in the context of climate change can be an important first step towards addressing this gap. The Guiding Principles are intended to be used by local and national governments, international organizations and civil society groups working with children on the move in the context of climate change.