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Refugee Children
No. 59 (XL) - 1989

EXCOM Conclusions, 13 October 1989

The Executive Committee,

a) Expressed appreciation for the Report on Refugee Children (A/AC.96/731), noted with concern the serious risks to their safety, immediate welfare and future development faced by many refugee children and recognized the efforts made by the Office of the High Commissioner to improve its effectiveness in responding to their special needs;

b) Reaffirmed its Conclusion concerning refugee children [No. 47 (XXXVIII)] and stressed the continuing nature of the guidance provided;

c) Commended the High Commissioner and his Working Group on Refugee Children for the development and dissemination of the Guidelines on Refugee Children and for the implementation of a work plan concerning refugee children and called upon UNHCR to seek the active co-operation and collaboration of governments, other United Nations bodies; among them UNICEF, non-governmental organizations and refugees themselves, in the implementation of the guideline;

d) Requested the High Commissioner to ensure that the needs of refugee children are given particular attention through regularly assessing resources and requirements in each refugee situation; collecting and using in programme planning relevant demographic, socioeconomic and cultural information; and monitoring and evaluating the impact of his programmes on refugee children;

e) Noted with serious concern the increasing incidence of nutritional deficiency diseases and malnutrition amongst refugee children dependent upon food aid and called upon UNHCR to initiate as a matter of urgency formal discussions with relevant United Nations bodies, donors and other humanitarian organizations to develop collaborative strategies for alleviating the nutritional problems of refugee children and to seek the incorporation into their programmes of appropriate provisions for such needs;

f) Recognized the link between education and durable solutions and encouraged UNHCR to strengthen its efforts in assisting host country governments to ensure the access of refugee children to education, inter alia through the involvement of new organizations and governmental and non-governmental donors, and where necessary through the incorporation of appropriate arrangements in its programmes of assistance;

g) Requested the High Commissioner to continue to give special attention to the needs of unaccompanied minors and inform the Executive Committee at its next session of the details of existing programmes and any difficulties encountered in their implementation;

h) Called upon UNHCR to promote the best possible legal protection of unaccompanied minors, particularly with regard to forced recruitment into armed forces and to the risks associated with irregular adoption;

i) Urged UNHCR to intensify efforts to increase public awareness of the situation and needs of refugee children and of the impact of armed conflict and persecution on them;

j) Encouraged UNHCR to develop training materials to improve the capacity and effectiveness of field personnel in identifying and addressing the protection and assistance needs of refugee children;

k) Recalled its request in its Thirty-seventh Session in 1986 [No. 41 (XXXVII)] for the High Commissioner to report regularly to the Executive Committee on the needs of refugee children, and on existing and proposed programmes for their benefit.

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