Geneva, 02 February 2024:The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is shocked and deeply saddened by the killing of three members of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in the Gaza Strip - one staff member and one volunteer on 31 January 2024 and one staff member on 2 February 2024.In the first incident, two colleagues, Naeem Hasan Al-Jabali and Khalid Kulab, were both near the gate of the PRCS Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis when they were killed. Today, Hedaya Hamad was killed at the PRCS headquarters, which is in the same compound as the Al-Amal hospital.These deaths came after several days of shelling and fighting around the hospital which hindered access to the premises and created panic and distress among patients and thousands of displaced people.The IFRC sends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to their friends and colleagues at the Palestine Red Crescent Society.Under International Humanitarian Law, hospitals, ambulances, healthcare workers, and their patients must be respected and protected in every situation.Any attack on healthcare workers, ambulances, and medical facilities is unacceptable.We strongly reiterate our call for unwavering respect for the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal emblems and the crucial humanitarian services they represent.The IFRC stands with the PRCS, urging protection for all medical facilities and workers. We commend the dedication of PRCS volunteers and paramedics, many of whom have lost family members or been affected yet continue to respond.Since the beginning of the conflict, the IFRC network has lost 14 members. Eleven PRCS staff and volunteers have been killed, and three from Israel’s Magen David Adom. This is unacceptable.For more information or to request an interview, contact:[email protected] Beirut:Mey Al Sayegh: +961 761 74468In Geneva:Tommaso Della Longa +41797084367Mrinalini Santhanam +41 76 381 5006Andrew Thomas +41 76 367 6587
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is devastated to confirm the killing of an on-duty Ethiopian Red Cross staff member in the northern Tigray region of the country. Woldu Aregawi Berha – an ambulance driver – was shot while in a vehicle clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem. He was severely injured and died before reaching hospital.
The IFRC condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the killing. Healthcare workers must be respected and protected in every situation.
The IFRC sends its deepest condolences to the man’s family and to his colleagues in the Ethiopian Red Cross.
Since the start of the year, seven members of the IFRC network teams lost their lives while carrying out their life-saving humanitarian work. This is unacceptable. They are #NotATarget.
Geneva/Beirut/Marrakesh, 19 September 2023: With forecasts predicting imminent rain and a heightened risk of landslides, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is intensifying its relief operations in Morocco following last week's devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake. The urgent need for swift and effective action has never been greater.
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC spokesperson, said:
"A deteriorating road network, particularly in isolated mountain villages, is making the distribution of essential supplies a race against time. We are deeply concerned about the imminent weather conditions. The Moroccan Red Crescent’s local knowledge is invaluable. They are our guiding force, making sure that our response is as effective as possible. We must continue to mobilize support for the weeks and months ahead to ensure that no community, no individual, is left behind."
Hundreds of Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers are on the ground, providing a lifeline in affected regions. Immediate relief measures include provision of first aid.
M'hamed En-Nosse, Director of Operations and Regional Coordinator of Rescue and First Aid for the Moroccan Red Crescent in the Marrakesh-Safi region, said:
"Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers have been responding to the emergency since the first hours following the earthquake. We are now mobilizing all our forces in collaboration with public authorities and with the support of the IFRC to assist those who have lost everything before the arrival of rain and cold weather. The journey ahead is long, but we will stand by the side of those affected for as long as necessary."
While immediate needs for food and water have been met due to the strong community solidarity, safe shelter and sanitation remain a significant concern. Makeshift settlements are still home to thousands of families who require essential items ranging from mattresses and blankets to cooking utensils and hygiene supplies.
Moreover, the need for solar-powered lighting and safety measures is increasingly apparent, especially in areas where restoring electricity will take weeks. As colder weather approaches, the likelihood of people cooking indoors and using gas heaters rises, elevating the risk of fires. In this context, financial support is critical for local procurement of essential supplies that address both immediate and evolving needs.
On 12 September, the IFRC launched an emergency appeal for 100 million Swiss Francs (CHF) to direct overwhelming support from individuals both within Morocco and the international community. It aims to support the Moroccan Red Crescent in efforts ranging from immediate relief like health services, clean water, and sanitation, to medium-term solutions like community engagement and livelihood support.
Your contribution can make an immediate difference. Click here to donate to our emergency appeal and support the people of Morocco in their time of need.
To request an interview, please contact: [email protected]
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67
Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06
Mey Alsayegh: +961 3 229 352
With his son Santiago always at his side, Juan arrived in Colombia in late October 2018 from Venezuela and immediately began looking for any kind of menial task to survive. After the searing heat of the Cucuta border town, the pair would walk miles of dizzyingly zigzagging roads, through the cold, rainy town of Pamplona, along sheer mountain passes and lush green valleys before luckily being given a ride across the freezing Paramo de Berlin – the most challenging section of the road to Bucaramanga.
Juan tells us: “Back in Valencia, I was a bus driver but, in the end, what I was making just wasn’t enough. I didn’t own the bus and when it broke down, it sometimes took a week or more to get repaired as there is a scarcity of parts. During that time, I wouldn’t be paid, and those periods became progressively longer.”
“We arrived in Colombia on October 31st, my birthday. Santiago had fever and we were not in a good way. I never thought I would ever walk so much.I picked up aluminium cans on the streets of Cucuta to sell for recycling for a few days to get some money, and I had to bring Santiago along with me as there was nowhere else to put him. With this money I managed to rent a room sharing with three other people.”
“We were travelling in a group for safety, but it’s also difficult– people have different speeds and sometimes not everyone gets a ride which splits up the group. It’s hard to stay together. Luckily, we got a ride across the Paramo. I heard that people die up there from the cold.
“One friend saw me carrying Santiago and offered to help me with my suitcase. But then I got a ride and he didn’t so now he has my bag with our clothes and the most valuable thing – my passport.”
“At one point, a truck pulled up and the driver said only women and children, so I handed Santiago to a woman and we met up later. Later I became a bit nervous. You hear rumours about children getting kidnapped here, but in the end he was safe. He asks for his mother a lot, who he hasn’t seen in two months.”
“Back in Venezuela I was working from early in the morning until late at night, so I didn’t see much of my son. Now, despite these adverse conditions, I’m still happy we can spend some time together. For Santiago it’s a big adventure, he even started to learn how to ask for rides on the road. He was my reason for leaving, and mymotivation to continue.”
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has been working closely with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in close coordination with other Movement partners before and since the onset of this conflict.
The Sudanese Red Crescent Society is the largest humanitarian responder in the country. It has more than 40,000 trained volunteers. It has access and reach to all 18 States and across both sides of the conflict to deliver life-saving assistance.
The IFRC has launched Emergency Appeals to scale up response in support of the Sudanese Red Crescent and National Societies in neighbouring countries to provide dignified and safe assistance to people on the move.
Excellencies – today I call on the international community to make following commitments:
First - Ensure Protection: The IFRC calls on all parties to the conflict to take all precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life, and ensure critical civilian infrastructure is protected.
Second – Ensure Access: Sudanese Red Crescent Society and other first responders must have the humanitarian space to conduct their lifesaving work.
The IFRC is deeply concerned at reports of increased cases of violence affecting civilians and reports of surging cases of sexual and gender-based violence.
Third – Ensure resources: We urge world leaders, to urgently increase their funding so that local organizations including the Sudanese Red Crescent Society have sufficient resources to save lives.
The people of Sudan need our support today and, in the weeks, and months to come. Their lives are on the line. The world cannot afford to look away.
Panama City, May 20, 2022 - The devastating socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have stalled some of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is unlikely that the region will end poverty, ensure gender equality, promote decent and equitable work, and reduce inequality within and between countries by the target date of 2030. This is one of the main findings of "Readjusting the path towards equity," a recent study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The report confirms that COVID-19 increased unemployment, reduced the income of the poorest families, forced more than one million children to leave school, reduced labour protection and worsened inequality and gender violence.
Head of IFRC's Disaster, Climate and Crisis unit in the Americas, Roger Alonso, said:
"This study helps us understand the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable people’s income, access to food and well-being. The findings underline the fact that a full social and economic recovery will take years. To avoid irreversible levels of vulnerability, it is crucial to implement an inclusive and fair recovery, which also anticipates the effects of the current food and fuel price increases resulting from the conflict in Ukraine."
According to the report, the loss of income of the poorest populations increased food insecurity resulting in 60 million people suffering from hunger in the first year of the pandemic. That same year, 23 million women were pushed into poverty and since then, cases of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking have increased.
In addition, 10% of jobs in the region were lost during the pandemic, and 30% of these have not yet been recovered. Meanwhile, 51% of the migrant population surveyed by IFRC said they lost their jobs and 53% of those who kept them, saw their income reduced or were not paid.
This IFRC analysis is based on literature review, interviews with experts and representatives of international organizations, as well as 1,825 surveys conducted in Argentina, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Venezuela.
Co-author of the report and IFRC Livelihoods Recovery Officer in the Americas, Daniela Funez, said:
''Listening to the communities we serve is a priority for the Red Cross network. That's what allows us to know their needs in depth and, in this case, the data they provided us confirms the projections made by international agencies about the effects of COVID-19 on the SDGs'."
To address the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, the IFRC suggests prioritizing attention to the most vulnerable groups, incorporating a gender approach in humanitarian action and contributing to reducing the effects of climate change. It also calls for increased investment in vaccination, protection and livelihood protection, a key issue to close the 60% funding gap needed to continue responding to the medium and long-term effects of COVID-19.
For more information:
In Bogota:David Quijano +57 310 5592559,[email protected]
In Panama:Susana Arroyo Barrantes,[email protected]
Budapest/Geneva, 13 May 2022 – Ahead of the International Day of Families on 15 May, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is expanding its family reunification services with a new initiative.
The Reunification Pathways for Integration (REPAIR) project is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), and enables safe and legal family reunification in the EU by assisting beneficiaries of international protection and their family members before, during and after arrival.
The three-year project is led by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in partnership with the Austrian, British, French and Slovenian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
National Red Cross Societies in these four countries are scaling up their support by offering a range of services including counselling, visa application support, socio-cultural orientation sessions, psychosocial support and language classes. They also provide integration support to help family members reconnect after a long period of separation.
Building on the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement's longstanding work with migrants and refugees, the project aims to improve and expand the current service provision through the development of new tools and approaches, also to be shared with key stakeholders. Activities in the programme will contribute to the improvement of the Family Reunification journey for affected communities and a strengthened network of agencies in Europe and beyond.
IFRC Europe Regional Director, Birgitte Ebbesen, said the right to family life must be respected, regardless of where people come from:
“Whether from Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia, people who flee violence and persecution often become separated from their family members, which can have devastating consequences on their wellbeing. Without their loved ones, they are not able to resume normal lives. Family reunification is essential to realizing the right to family life in Europe and key for long-term integration in receiving communities.”
The project is built on Restoring Family Links (RFL), a key mandate of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to deliver activities that aim to prevent separation and disappearance, look for missing persons, restore and maintain contact between family members, and clarify the fate of persons reported missing.
Family reunification is one of the safe and legal routes to protection to Europe, yet families face many challenges due to the complex legal framework and practical obstacles. Bringing together beneficiaries of international protection and their relatives often turns into a lengthy and unsafe process.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is calling for a more holistic, protection-oriented approach that is safe, inclusive and provides the necessary support to families at every step of the way. Preparing local authorities and host communities for the arrivals should also be an integral part of the action.
“A fair and swift family reunification process ensures dignity and helps prevent desperate families from taking dangerous journeys to join their loved ones, often resulting in tragic deaths and people going missing en route. We are not just helping people, we are saving lives,” Ms. Ebbesen added.
For more information, please contact:
In Budapest: Nora Peter, +36 70 265 4020, [email protected]
Kingston, Jamaica – November 19, 2021. Adolescents overwhelmingly feel that they do not have the information needed to be safe from potential violence, abuse, and exploitation in climate related disasters. This is one of the main findings of “We Need to Do Better: Climate Related Disasters, Child Protection and Localizing Action in the Caribbean,” a recent study conducted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The report has revealed that even though climate related disasters affect each person in the region, children are particularly at risk. They make up a large portion of the population of the Caribbean and are most vulnerable to encountering violence, abuse, and exploitation in disaster settings, while systems to protect them do not always work. The study also highlights that there are no specific laws in place to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation when disasters happen.
Gurvinder Singh, IFRC’s Child Protection Senior Advisor and one of the authors of the report, said:
“While children potentially have great leadership and innovation capabilities, unfortunately, their voices are rarely being sought out or heard. Furthermore, there is a huge deficit in meaningful opportunities for children to be engaged in decisions that affect them. This is especially prominent in the stages of preparing for and responding to disasters. Adolescents believe that even if they do participate, their opinions may not be taken seriously by adults.”
By putting the voices, perspectives, and ideas of children at the forefront, the report seeks to understand the generally unexplored relationships between climate related disasters and children’s concerns around violence, abuse, exploitation, and mental health challenges. It also sends a warning to governments and civic organisations to play a more active role in the promotion of and respect for the rights of the child, especially with regards to the issue of child abuse and the need for urgent effective prevention programmes.
Ariel Kestens, IFRC’s Head of Delegation for the Dutch-and English-speaking Caribbean, said:
“It is critical that governments enhance domestic laws, invest in child protection systems, improve local coordination, train local responders, include protection and climate change in school curriculum, and collect sex-, age- and disability-disaggregated data in disaster responses. The IFRC Network across the Caribbean stands ready to support them to continue striving to meet the best interests of each child affected by more and more frequent, and destructive climate related disasters.”
The report also recommends practical actions for the humanitarian sector, such as designing child-friendly communications, implementing community feedback mechanisms, including child protection in anticipatory action, integrating child protection across preparedness, assessments and planning, and creating spaces for children and adults to engage, support one another and find viable solutions to protection risks.
The study was based on discussions and an online survey with 198 adolescents ages 14-17 years in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago; interviews with 30 adults from different disaster and child protection agencies, and background research. It is part of the campaign “We Need to Do Better” by the IFRC to enhance protection of children in climate related disasters.
The full report may be accessed here. The adolescent summary of the report is available here.
For more information, please contact:
In Jamaica: Trevesa DaSilva | +876 818-8575 | [email protected]
In Panama: Susana Arroyo Barrantes | + 506 8416 1771 | [email protected]
For the IFRC to remain true to our principles, we must ensure we reach all people effectively and in a non-discriminatory and equitable manner. Our work must ensure dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.
At the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), we believe that diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act. Through all of our work, we aim to protect and promote a positive change for humanity, based on our humanitarian values and Fundamental Principles.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is deeply committed to creating a safe, respectful and dignified environment for the communities we serve and for all our volunteers and staff.
Nairobi/Geneva, 5 July 2021 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Africa Region is calling on its partners to do more to protect children amid increasing vulnerabilities due to climate-related disasters. This call comes ahead of the upcoming Africa Dialogue/Anticipatory Action event.
MohammedMukhier, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa said:
“As drought and food insecurity take hold, we see again that Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change and its related disasters. IFRC is deeply concerned about the disproportionate level of protection risks against children across Africa posed by climate related disasters. Anticipating need and taking effective action is essential.”
IFRC is calling on all humanitarian actors to do a better job at preventing children from increased violence, abuse and exploitation. IFRC’s study, “We Need To Do Better” shows that climate related disasters puts pressure on protective systems, leaving families in desperate situations, and reducing children’s chances of shaping their own futures.
Mukhier added: “Climate change related extreme weather and rising temperatures have increased the frequency of droughts and floods in Africa and around the world, leading to knock-on effects such as economic hardship, child labour, severe malnutrition, lack of access to clean water and WASH facilities, child marriage and lower school attendance. The consequences of these are felt today and will continue to undermine children’s protection for years to come. We need to invest more in preventative action including anticipatory action with a specific lens on child protection.”
Presently, the menace of floods, COVID-19, conflict, and locusts in parts of the African region, linked to the warming climate, is a key example of the risks. Yet, this may worsen in the coming months, especially between June and August 2021, with the exacerbation of food insecurity.
Furthermore, climate related displacement is a significant concern. Rapid and slow onset environmental degradation diminishes living conditions, forcing families to leave their homes and often separate from their children. Many children are also forced to reside in unsafe refugee and IDP camps in countries across the continent where they are at risk of trafficking, recruitment into armed groups and sexual violence.
Climate related disasters in the region also threaten children’s access to school including through forcing schools to close, intensifying dropouts, families having to choose between school and livelihoods, and making transport and access to school hard for the poorest. This is already happening in Eastern and Southern Africa, where around 28 per cent of the children are unable to attend school. The lowest attendance rates are observed in the Horn, where climate related disasters are particularly prevalent.
School attendance is vital for children because—apart from education—learning institutions provide an environment that protects children from abuse, violence and exploitation.
Children’s mental health is also affected by the short and long-term impacts of repeated disasters. Instability and separation from family can exacerbate the stress and trauma of the experience. Psycho-social support is crucial for the emotional wellbeing, mental health and development of children.
Girls are at particular risk in climate related disasters as they experience unequal access to school, resources and decision-making, particularly in areas facing severe poverty. During and after climate related disasters, girls are more vulnerable to sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Child marriage, for example, may be used as a coping mechanism by families who experience economic hardship induced by environmental disasters. Girls who are married are at risk of physical and sexual abuse, poor nutrition, and increased chance of maternal neonatal death.
Mukhier called for a more proactive approach: “Local humanitarian actors need to take urgent, coordinated, and preventative actions to better protect children from the dire consequences of climate related disasters in the Africa region. We need to better anticipate protection needs and take practical actions. Children have not contributed to the climate crisis and yet they carry its heaviest burdens today and for the decades to come. We need to do better to ensure we work with children as partners and prioritize their protection and education.”
The IFRC urges humanitarian actors to: (1) recognize the impact of climate change related disasters on children; (2) invest in child protection and education systems, including localized coordination mechanisms; (3) include children, both boys and girls, in climate disaster related decision-making processes and the development of local solutions; and (4) prioritize anticipatory action to protect children from the impacts of climate disasters.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women reminds us that for tens of millions of women and children around the world, ‘home’ is a place of fear and violence.
Evidence suggests COVID-19 is making things worse. We cannot wait for the full picture. We must plan, invest and act now to increase services that support survivors.
In ‘ordinary’ times, 40 per cent of women in South-East Asia over one third (37%) of women in South Asia and more than two thirds of women in the Pacific experience violence at some time in their lives, at the hands of people who claim to love them.
Eleven months into this COVID-19 pandemic, early reports in Asia and the Pacific reveal rates are skyrocketing. Police reports in China indicate a 30 per cent increase in reported cases of violence during lockdown. Family violence hotlines are reporting surging numbers of calls, including increases of 137 per cent in Singapore, 150 per cent in Samoa, and 30 per cent in Melbourne.
It’s even more horrifying that these statistics are the tip of the iceberg. The majority of violence against women goes unreported and COVID-19 restrictions are forcing many women and children already in abusive situations into closer quarters with their abusers. Many support services are overwhelmed, not operating or harder to access.
Making matters worse, communities across Asia have been battered by a devastating string of disasters. Millions have been forced to live in temporary shelters with limited access to basic services, adding to the risk of violence.
There are more than 7.6 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers in Asia and the Pacific and our teams are reporting increases in family violence, sexual abuse and violations of child rights.
It is critical that we collect more accurate data and rapidly adapt our approaches. We must provide accessible information and effectively support anyone needing help.
Trained community volunteers have unparalleled links with communities. They play a crucial role in understanding, monitoring and preventing increased risks of violence against women by identifying people who are most vulnerable, potential violations, and taking appropriate action to help people.
It’s our combined responsibility to prevent gender-based violence and respond effectively when it occurs. These efforts must be integrated at all levels by governments and humanitarian agencies into pandemic response plans and activities. We cannot let COVID-19 undermine our hard-won progress. Too many lives are at stake.
By: Dr Michael Charles
Today South Africa marks Women’s Day. Much like the women being commemorated for the march to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, women in southern Africa today may well hold the same flint that lights a “new movement” – climate change.
Southern Africa is one of the regions projected to experience the most serious consequences of global warming and the El Niño effect. In 2019, we experienced one of the worst disasters the region has ever seen - Cyclone Idai ravaged communities in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe and continue to rebuild their lives.
Urgent action is needed to increase the region’s preparedness for natural disasters. It is only a matter of time until the next disaster strikes. Being female often automatically means that personal susceptibility to sexual and domestic violence, rape and assault in emergency situations is significantly heightened. Women experience additional difficulties because they are typically responsible for sourcing water and preparing food; caring for children, the injured, sick and elderly; and maintaining family and community cohesion.
Tackling climate change is, undoubtedly, women’s business. They have a vested interest in avoiding and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is time that humanitarian actors and policy and decision-makers mainstream gender in policy and practice. It is not a “nice to do”; it is crucial to making real and sustainable differences in the lives of affected people.
In 1956, 200,000 South African women declared that enough was enough and acted to defend themselves and the unity and integrity of their families from restrictive laws that required them to carry a pass to reside and move freely in urban areas.
Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock! was the rallying cry of that day, used to signify the women’s unshakeable and unbreakable resolve in the face of adversity as they marched to the Union Building in Pretoria, and sparked change in the course of South Africa’s history.
As countries in southern Africa ramp up their disaster risk management and humanitarian organisations work to strengthen community recovery and resilience, women in southern Africa should not just be considered victims and survivors who need special protection and assistance. They are forces for change who can be relied on to represent themselves within their communities and at the highest decision-making levels.
I am always inspired by the women I meet responding in disasters, most recently in Cyclone Idai. Women like, Sonia, a volunteer who was working long hours to support women in a shelter, displaced by Cyclone Idai or Flora, who was affected herself by flooding but was dedicated to helping her neighbours rebuild their homes and their lives.
Happy Women’s Day, South Africa. May the flame that was lit in 1956 and the fire of women’s empowerment and participation that was built over the decades rage on.
“It is emotional work. When children arrive they are so exhausted and need time to rest, play and not be seen as migrants,” says William Guerra. He is a volunteer with the Ecuador Red Cross supporting a safe space for children in the town of Lago Agrio, in the Province of Sucumbíos, which is a border point with Colombia.
Many of the migrant children and families who arrive at the border come to Colombia from Venezuela as their country experiences severe political and economic distress. The numbers of children who cross this border point can fluctuate each day. Recently there have been as many as thirty and forty children each day, many with a parent or grandparent, but some also migrating alone.
In response to the needs faced by migrant children, the Ecuador Red Cross implements 14 safe spaces in 11 provinces across the country. It also has additional mobile safe spaces it deploys when the number of migrants increase. The mobile spaces support children as they walk for long distances in hard to access locations.
Marisol Pallo, another volunteer in Lago Agrio explains that each safe space provides an assortment of humanitarian services to children and families that seek to improve psychosocial wellbeing and protection. “We see that children here have many needs so we help with first aid, restoring family links, discussing child rights, play, and just let children be surrounded by normal things. We also provide shoes to replace the broken and worn down ones.” Marisol notes, “We need to work hard because we know this is not normal and childhood should not be this way.”
Priscila Naranjo, a local college student who volunteers at the safe space, tell us, “We see so many bad stories about migrants in the news but the reality is so different. Here you see the humanitarian needs and that these are just children like all other children.”
Geneva/New York, 11 January 2018 – The following can be attributed to Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“We welcome the report launched today by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and his Special Representative for International Migration, Louise Arbour. We thank Mr Guterres and Ms Arbour for their leadership.
“The violence, abuse and death that people face when migrating are preventable. The Red Cross and Red Crescent does not engage in debates about whether there should be more migration or less migration. We care about the safety and dignity of people, wherever they are. Migrants have the same human rights as everyone else. All people migrating should have unfettered access to essential services and humanitarian aid, as well as special protections for those most at risk, especially unaccompanied children.
“World leaders must act to stop death, despair and abuse along migration trails.
“We are happy to see that the safety and dignity of all migrants – of all people –are prominent in the report. It is our hope now that governments will adopt a Global Compact on Migration that delivers tangible, time-bound and compassionate outcomes for all migrants, regardless of their status.”