Basic needs of refugee children still unmet, Annan says in new report

Basic needs of refugee children still unmet, Annan says in new report

Despite progress in assisting refugee children separated from their families, the basic needs of many such youngsters remain unmet, according to a just released report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"One key challenge is the lack of adequate human and financial resources to address identified needs," the Secretary-General writes, advocating more emphasis on community-based strategies within humanitarian interventions.

Mr. Annan also stresses the need for strengthened inter-agency coordination and more effective registration and tracing systems to protect and help unaccompanied and separated refugee children.

To respond effectively to the protection needs of unaccompanied and separated children, the Secretary-General urges UN Member States to become party to the UN Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Those instruments enhance the legal protection of refugee children against military recruitment and other forms of exploitation.

Compliance and accountability for violations of the rights of refugee children should also be more closely monitored, the report states.