Protecting Children in the Context of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe


Duration: 15 October 2016 – 15 April 2018
Donor: European Union

IOM – in close cooperation with UNHCR, UNICEF and Save the Children – participated in this project to improve the protection of migrant children in all European Member states along the Eastern Mediterranean migration route (Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Hungary).

The objectives of the regional project were:

  • To prevent violence against children - including trafficking in human beings as a worst form of violence - and respect for their rights along the migration route, from point of entry, in hotspots, while in transit and in reception centres;
  • To promote and strengthen integrated national child protection systems;
  • To sensitize and build capacity for child protection and national asylum/migration professionals, NGOs, others working for and with children including volunteers;
  • To collect, share information on and monitor the situation of refugee and migrant children.


                                                                                                                               Photos: IOM/Amanda Nero, Lesbos, 2015                                                                                        

The objectives of the project were achieved by:

  • Participating in the development of child protection standards in reception and transit centres and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs);
  • Strengthening the procedures for identifying and referring cases of abuse and (potential) human trafficking to specialized care in the national/transnational context;
  • Providing information to children in a way they can understand;
  • Providing assistance to recognized refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and their eligible family members in the family reunification process outside and within the EU;
  • Facilitating transfer/escort in close coordination and involvement with child protection and guardianship authorities in receiving/sending countries;
  • Participating in the capacity-building process in all countries of focus;
  • Participating in the data collection effort as part of its established early warning information sharing network and contribute to the development/enhancement of monitoring tools.


Funded by the European Union