Destination Unknown

Destination Unknown

For the rights of young migrants

Worldwide, millions of children and young people are on the run or live as migrants in countries where they were not born. terre des hommes schweiz participates in the international campaign Destination Unknown (DU), which campaigns for the rights and protection of young migrants.
Young Latin American men in front of a plane. They run in a line.
More and more young refugees are deported from the USA. ACISAM supports them in their return to El Salvador

According to the United Nations, 68.5 million people worldwide live as violently displaced persons. More than half of the refugees are children and young people under 18 years of age. About 258 million people do not live in the country where they were born. Children and young migrants are a particularly vulnerable group and are discriminated against in many areas of their lives. They often have difficult access to the health care system and education and are discriminated against on the basis of their origin.

terre des hommes switzerland participates in the campaign "Destination Unknown - Championing the rights of children on the move", an international campaign for the protection of migrant children and young people. According to a demand in the campaign, underage migrants should be treated first and foremost as children protected under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The ultimate goal is to find a lasting solution in the interest of young migrants.

Around 40 organisations in 65 countries are involved in the campaign. The work takes place in several areas:

In direct work with children and young people and their families and the authorities involved, migrant children are protected. For example, they receive basic support in the form of shelter and food and are given psychological support. The project work of the numerous partners is very diverse and adapted to the respective needs and specific situations on site. For example, in Italy, where our Terre des hommes sister organisation looks after the severely traumatised refugees who reach the coast or are stranded in northern Italian railway stations. terre des hommes Switzerland works in El Salvador with young returnees and helps them to regain their footing after what are often very difficult experiences.

The Campaign and its member organisations influence the legal basis and practice in dealing with migrant children and young people. The work takes place at global, regional and national level. The aim is always to find the best solution for the child or young person. The member organisations of Destination Unknown, for example, have worked intensively at national and international level to ensure that children's rights are included in the two UN migration pacts

The campaign highlights the reality of migrant children and young people as well as the human and children's rights violations they face due to lack of protection. However, the young migrants are not only recipients of help, but are also consciously strengthened as actors. They are supported in developing activities and participating in national or international exchange events, for example. Young migrants themselves have their say in order to inform about their situation and needs.

Nine principles

The campaign work of Destination Unknown is based on the 9 principles for dealing with migrant children

Destination Unknown in Central America

Young Latin American men in front of a plane. They run in a line.

The migration of young people from Central America to the USA has increased dramatically in recent years. At the same time, more and more young refugees are being deported. Our partner organization ACISAM supports the young returnees in getting a foothold in El Salvador again.

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