Supporting the safe and effective reintegration of separated children during the COVID-19 crisis

It is widely recognised that growing up in a safe and caring family environment is essential for child development and well-being, and that maximum efforts must be made to reintegrate the millions of separated children globally with their families and communities. The reintegration of children is already difficult, often requiring extensive interventions to address the original causes of separation and re-establish broken relationships.

COVID-19 is exacerbating these challenges.

This short paper draws on a review of the literature, surveys with nine civil society organisations (CSOs) from Family for Every Child and the RISE Learning Network,5 and in-depth interviews with six of Family for Every Child’s members: Forum for Sustainable Child Empowerment in Ethiopia; JUCONI in Mexico; Praajak in India; METAdrasi in Greece; Uyisenga Ni Imanzi in Rwanda; and Voice of Children in Nepal.

It builds on the interagency global Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration,6 suggesting factors that need to be considered in their implementation during the crisis. The paper touches on the reintegration of separated children in a range of different circumstances, including those returning to families and communities from the streets, alternative care, refugee camps, and detention. It covers reintegration within countries and across borders, including the reintegration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

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