UNICEF and Government of Italy agree on ways to help refugee and migrant children
“Declaration of Intent” signed at Ministry of Interior
ROME, 27 May 2016 – With 16,478 refugee and migrant children having arrived by sea in Italy in 2015 and more than 5,000 having entered the country already this year, UNICEF and the Government of Italy today announced a new collaboration to improve their care and protection.
The “Declaration of Intent” was signed at Viminale, Rome, the seat of the Ministry of Interior, by Mr. Mario Morcone, Chief of the ministry’s Department of Civil Liberties and Immigration, and Ms Marilena Viviani, Director of UNICEF’s Geneva Liaison Office in the Division of Public Partnerships. Also present were the President of the Italian National Committee for UNICEF, Giacomo Guerrera, and its Executive Director, Paolo Rozera.
“This agreement comes in a landmark year, 25 years after Italy ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it became national law,” said Viviani. “Now its protection is being extended to migrant and refugee children, who have suffered war, persecutions and dangerous journeys.”
“These children need time for rest and recovery, spaces to play, and, most of all, protection against all forms of violence and exploitation. We need to ensure they have the future they risked their own lives to attain,” Viviani added.
Under the Joint Declaration of Intent, UNICEF will:
Monitor reception standards for refugee and migrant children, especially those who are unaccompanied, to ensure they are in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
Monitor the situation of refugee and migrant children in reception centers, particularly in the regions of Calabria, Campania and Sicily, in southern Italy;
Monitor all actions aimed at the integration of migrant and refugee children into Italian society.
Marcone said the Italian Government appreciates the work done by UNICEF globally for children in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. In particular, the government acknowledges UNICEF’s record of providing technical assistance to governments and other partners working on the protection and humanitarian needs of children.