An overwhelming majority of 181 UN members, including Australia, voted to adopt the compact, which paves the way for stronger collaboration between countries to ensure protection of children is consistent across borders, encouraging greater allocation of resources to child protection and improving the provision and quality of education.
Save the Children is disappointed by the votes against the Compact by the United States and Hungary, however we hope these states will play their part to support its implementation.
This historic compact will provide greater support for people fleeing their homelands and for the countries that take them in. This is critical with 85 per cent of the world’s refugees living in developing countries that face their own economic and development challenges.
There are more than 25.4 million refugees around the world, more than half of whom are children.
Save the Children Director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler welcomed Australia’s support of this important compact.
“It’s great to see Australia sign on to the compact, which sets the promise that all refugee children will be in school and learning within a few months of crossing an international border, and that host countries will be appropriately resourced to provide this,” Mr Tinkler said.
“Having already lost their homes, many refugee children also go without education, resulting in further disadvantage for an already vulnerable group. Four million refugee children are not attending school and this is steadily increasing.”
Australia has one of the most generous humanitarian resettlement programs in the world on a per capita basis. However, its widely criticised deterrent policies for irregular maritime arrivals go against the key principles of international law and have brought enormous suffering to those fleeing conflict and persecution.
“Save the Children calls for the equitable and humane treatment of all refugees seeking protection, regardless of their mode of arrival,” Mr Tinkler said.
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.