A group of unaccompanied foreign minors during the session UNICEF of U-Report On The Move | Photo: UNICEF/LeLijour/2021
A group of unaccompanied foreign minors during the session UNICEF of U-Report On The Move | Photo: UNICEF/LeLijour/2021

UNICEF reached 7,000 refugee and migrant children and teens in 2021 through its program in Italy, the organization said in an annual report released on Monday, April 11.

A reported 78,000 refugees and migrants in 2021 were registered in Italy's hosting system, including over 12,200 unaccompanied foreign minors, UNICEF said in an new annual report released on Monday, April 11.

The data, however, did not take into account an unspecified number of minors who were not under the care of the formal hosting system and who were de facto invisible to services of protection and safeguard of rights, UNICEF noted in the 2021 annual report on its program to support migrant and refugee children and teens in Italy.

The numbers are expected to grow in 2022 due to the recent emergency in Ukraine which has already brought over 88,000 people to the country, including more than 33,000 children, the organization explained.

The report highlighted how UNICEF in 2021 reached over 12,000 migrants and refugees through direct interventions, including 7,000 children and teens.

UNICEF's activities in Italy

Specifically, UNICEF said that in the last year it reached:

  • 5,198 minors with programs of protection (actions to safeguard the rights and best standards of hosting and protection);
  • over 120 adolescents placed in foster care or supported by mentors;
  • some 2,300 marginalized minors who had access to programs developing their language and digital skills, among others;
  • over 1,200 migrants and refugees through activities of prevention and support to deal with gender-based violence;
  • more than 800 violence survivors through programs of legal and psychological-social support.
  • Online actions reached over 33,000 people, also through the digital platform U-Report on the Move.
  • more than 2,000 operators were trained on the protection of minors as well as on ways to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

1,900 children assisted during the first month of the Ukrainian emergency

UNICEF then reported that it has already boosted its intervention in response to the recent emergency in Ukraine, reaching over 1,900 children with their families in the first month of activity alone -- in collaboration with Save the Chidren.

"UNICEF recognizes the prompt response of institutional partners and of organizations of civil society in response to the Ukraine emergency," said Anna Riatti, the coordinator of Italy's program of the UNICEF office for Europe and Central Asia.

"The protection of all children, adolescents and youths who are refugees and migrants must remain a priority of the political agenda. The recent crisis that affected Ukraine and the evolution of events we are witnessing has posed new challenges to the hosting system.

UNICEF will continue to support the institutions and partners involved to guarantee to all refugees and migrants the safeguards provided by the UN convention on the rights of infancy and adolescence."


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