UN appeals for protection against sexual abuse of women and children on move in Europe
Oct.25, Berlin: The United Nations refugee agency expressed concern over the reported abuse of refugee and migrant women and children on the move in Europe, including “instances of children engaging in survival sex to pay smugglers to continue their journey,” appealing to all concerned to take measures to ensure their protection.
“Refugee and migrant children moving in Europe are at heightened risk of violence and abuse, including sexual violence, especially in overcrowded reception sites, or in many locations where refugees and migrants gather, such as parks, train stations, bus stations and roadsides,” said Spokesperson Melissa Fleming for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“Unaccompanied children can be particularly vulnerable as they lack the protection and care of an adult,” Ms. Fleming told the regular Friday press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to UNHCR, more than 644,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, and of these, some 34 percent are women and children. “In addition to the reported risks and abuse they face during the journey before arriving on Europe’s shores, women and children are also confronted with numerous risks in their onward movement through Europe,” the spokesperson said.
“UNHCR appeals to all concerned national authorities in Europe to take measures to ensure the protection of women and girls, including through providing adequate and safe reception facilities,” Fleming said.
The Oslo Times