FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Geneva, Switzerland December 12, 2023. The Global Initiative to Support Parents (GISP) and the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (Alliance) will present a pledge urging world leaders to prioritize the needs of refugee parents, caregivers, and children at the Global Refugee Forum this week in Geneva, Switzerland.

As part of the pledge, GISP and the Alliance are commiting to collaborating with national stakeholders across five areas by 2027. This will include: supporting five refugee-hosting countries to help strengthen policies and institutional arrangements around family-strengthening services and caregiving support for both refugee and host communities; hosting a global parenting forum in 2024 to elevate the need for caregiving support; collaborating with global organizations to end violence against children; convening national and subnational regional stakeholders; and facilitating knowledge exchange across sectors.

According to recent data from the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees,  there are currently more than 110 million refugees worldwide. UNICEF reported that nearly 43 million children lived in forced displacement by the end of 2022, many of them for their entire childhood. While a strong, nurturing relationship with a parent or caregiver can serve as a critical buffer against the worst impacts of crises on children, caregivers often face significant threats to their own mental health and wellbeing, making it difficult to engage with their children and provide the additional support and care needed during crisis situations.

To mitigate the potentially long-lasting effects of forced displacement on child development, the global parenting community calls on member states to join the pledge to ensure that refugee parents and caregivers, as well as those in host communities, have access to a range of services and supports that are responsive to their needs, including mental health care and psychosocial support. GISP is calling on partners to share the pledge with policymakers in their country to strengthen supports for parents and caregivers in refugee and host communities.

About the Global Initiative to Support Parents (GISP)

GISP is a platform to catalyze parent and caregiver support across sectors, across regions, and across the life course. GISP works with governments, civil society partners, researchers, donors, and parents to promote universal access to parenting and caregiver support so that every child can receive the support they need during the first two decades of life and across the life course. GISP was initiated by UNICEF, WHO, the Early Childhood Development Action Network, Parenting for Lifelong Health at the University of Oxford, and the End Violence Partnership. www.support-parents.org

About the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (the Alliance) is a global network of operational agencies, academic institutions, policymakers, donors and practitioners. Co-led by UNICEF and World Vision International, the Alliance facilitates inter-agency technical collaboration and advocacy to prevent and protect children from experiencing abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in all humanitarian settings. By setting standards and producing technical guidance, the Alliance supports the efforts of humanitarian actors to achieve high-quality and effective child protection interventions in humanitarian contexts. www.alliancecpha.org

Media contacts

Carol Mochoge, cmochoge@ecdan.org, +254-708-712-888 ; Katherine Shek, kshek@ecdan.org, +1-703-362-0803