In 2016, an estimated 28 million children were living in a situation of forced displacement. (UNICEF 2018). This is truly a global phenomenon - between 2015 and 2016 at least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children undertaking dangerous journeys and moving across borders, were registered in 80 different countries (UNICEF 2018). Lacking the protection of primary caregivers, these children are at heightened risk to all forms of violence including trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour, physical abuse and torture. They face homelessness, poor health and psychosocial impacts , malnutrition, fear, loneliness and even death. Providing the most suitable alternative care for these children is vital - offering them a protective and caring environment.
With the aim of improving provision of suitable care and the manner in which it is offered, we are creating a specialised MOOC. This MOOC aims to increase the knowledge and support improved practice of tens of thousands of front line workers who make decisions about the care and best interest of children on the move every day. This MOOC will build on our experience producing the MOOC on Alternative Care and highlight the principles and found in UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. It will build on the first hand expertise of leading international agencies and draw on existing best practice from around the world.
The main objectives of the MOOC are to:
- Consider how international standards enable frontline workers to respond to the care and protection needs that address each child’s needs, circumstances, wishes and best interest through the provision of alternative care
- Provide guidance on appropriate decision making and provision of suitable care for unaccompanied and separated children and, those at risk of being so
- Build bridges between the humanitarian sector, alternative care workers and others in contact with unaccompanied and separated children on the move
- Promote the creation and use of different forms of suitable care