A platform and a call to action
This week, partners from all over the world are convening to tackle a huge and growing issue that impacts the rights of millions of children every year. The United Nations Network on Migration will be hosting a series of events in the run-up to the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). The event is called Migration Week, and it is bringing a network of global, regional and national actors with a shared vision and a willingness to commit to collective action. The theme for the 2022 Migration Week is Cooperation and Partnership: Implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
According to the International Data Alliance for Children on the Move (IDAC) 35.5 million children under the age of 18 were living outside their country of birth as of end 2020, and an estimated 33.7 million children – or 1 in 66 children globally – have been displaced within their own borders or across them. The scale of the problem is truly staggering, and one of the main issues being highlighted is the lack of reliable, systematic data that can be used to support interventions.
IDAC has adopted a three-pronged Action Plan for 2021-2023 geared towards:
- Strengthening national data systems and capacities to protect migrant and forcibly displaced children
- Promoting and establishing collaborative, innovative methods for child-specific data work
- Improving data visibility, availability, accessibility and usability
On 18 February 2022 - as part of the Migration Week proceedings - IDAC is holding an event called Better Data to Improve Outcomes for Children on the Move (register here). Partners will be looking at improving quantitative and qualitative data and evidence generation that is urgently needed to protect and empower these children.
Primero works: Improving access to services for children on the move
Reaching children on the move with services is a huge challenge, especially when these children require case management. Traditional programming approaches don't always work, because they focus on strengthening community and national systems that migrant populations may not have access to. To foster inclusion and increase access to these services, teams working with Primero are trying a variety of innovative approaches. Primero has been adapted to support route-based programming so even children who are not staying in one place can benefit from continuity of care and protection.
In 2020, Primero was deployed in northern Brazil to support organizations providing services to Venezuelan refugees. There are currently 77 case workeers from 4 organizations managing cases for more 5000 migrant children - mainly Venezuelan children and adolescents and their families. These individuals are supported through child protection interventions in Roraima, Amazonas and Pará states, inside and outside shelters. They include children who have experienced violence or are in need of specialized services, such as health, social assistance and legal services, and among them are undocumented, unaccompanied and separated children. To learn more about this important work, please read this press release from UNICEF Brazil (avialable in English and Portuguese).
Primero a "gamechanger" for managing cases for children on the move in the Horn of Africa
From 2017 to 2022, with the generous support of the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UNICEF and partners implemented a programme in the Horn of Africa that aimed to better understand and respond to the specific vulnerabilities of children on the move. The programme was built around five outputs: (1) strengthened case management systems to provide improved services to COTM and children at risk of violence and exploitation; (2) capacity-building of the social service workforce to respond to the needs of at-risk children; (3) improved access to integrated social and child protection services and information on available safe migration options and the risks of irregular migration, (4) quantitative and qualitative data available to enhance knowledge and inform programming on COTM and (5) improved access to legal protection for children.
There is broad recognition across the four locations of how Primero/CPIMS+ can increase efficiency, transparency and accountability of frontline workers.
Programme Evaluation: Protecting Children on the Move in the Horn of Africa
In 2021, a formative evalution on this programme was published with the goal of contributing to learning and knowledge exchange on what works for strengthening child protection systems for children on the move. What really works to protect children on the move from violence, exploitation and abuse? What doesn't work? How can we do a better job of understanding the drivers of migration, what differs from context to context, and how best to serve this population? Part of the answer comes in the form of better data strategies and systems.
"Primero/CPIMS+ was found to be supporting coordination and coherence with other protection actors and achieving interoperable information systems between agencies as well as with authorities. It should be a very valuable tool going forward."
Primero is proving itself. Strengthening partnerships. Innovation. Better data. It is adding value to these programming interventions, building trust and bonds between government and civil society service providers, and helping to protect those who most need it. Read this comprehensive evaluation to find out more about how Primero is helping to fill this important gap.
Somaliland in particular has made great strides in digitizing their case management system. Primero/CPIMS+ is viewed as a ‘gamechanger’.