UNHCR Ethiopia: Child Protection Factsheet (September 2018)

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  • Refugee children are at greater risk than adults of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, including human trafficking or forced recruitment into armed groups

  • 54,715 refugee children in Ethiopia are unaccompanied or separated, with nearly 17% of all children in the refugee camps in Tigray region being separated from their primary caregivers

  • The Ethiopia National Child Protection Strategy (2017-2019) outlines six goals and intervention areas for Child Protection which UNHCR and partners are working towards.


  • Vital events registration for refugees: As part of the pledges made at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in 2016, the Government of Ethiopia has been undertaking country-wide civil registration of refugees since October 2017. Refugee children born in Ethiopia are now able to obtain birth certificates issued by the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) on behalf of the Federal Vital Events Registration Agency (FVERA) in all refugee camps and urban centres. The approximately 70,000 refugee children born in Ethiopia over the past 10 years and who have not received birth certificates can obtain these retroactively. The inclusion of refugees in the national civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system constitutes a milestone for refugee protection in Ethiopia. In situations of displacement, birth registration is an important protection tool and facilitates refugees’ access to essential basic services, such as education and health care.

  • Urban Child Protection Centre in Addis Ababa: Following its official opening in November 2017, vulnerable refugee children of all backgrounds and ages are able to access comprehensive child protection services in the first Refugee Child Protection Centre in Addis Ababa.

  • Run by UNHCR’s partner Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) the services provided at the centre include child protection case management, including placement of unaccompanied children in family-based foster care; provision of psychosocial support/counselling; a Child Friendly Space with indoor and outdoor games; Amharic and English language classes; life skills training; study support and access to vocational training.