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High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges, 2016

Date: 9 - 10 December 2016

High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges, 2016

The ninth annual High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

This year's theme, Children on the Move, recognized the growing plight of young people who are fleeing violence and war, and struggling to reach safety.
Public event
Tanzania. Burundian refugees are transferred to Kigoma
After waiting for days on the shore of Lake Tanganyika on Kagunga Peninsula, Burundian refugees disembark the MV Liemba in Kigoma. From here, they will be transferred to Nyaragusu refugee camp.

With global forced displacement at a record high of 65.3 million, the number of children seeking refuge has also grown dramatically. Some 112,000 asylum claims for unaccompanied and separated children were lodged in 2015 – the highest number recorded since UNHCR began collecting such data in 2006.

Against this worrying backdrop, this year’s Dialogue brought together a total of 676 participants, including refugee youth delegates, child protection experts, States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and other humanitarian and academic partners to consider the distinct protection risks children face while on the move. Together, this wide array of participants explored protection initiatives and responses and sought renewed commitment to principles governing protection of and assistance to children fleeing violence, conflict and persecution.

The High Commissioner’s Dialogue built on several events in 2016 relating to youth and others seeking protection, notably the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, the UNHCR-NGO Consultations and the Global Refugee Youth Consultations.  A number of initiatives and recommendations resulting from the Dialogue will be carried forward during 2017 and beyond. 

Opening remarks by the High Commissioner

Closing remarks by the High Commissioner

Closing remarks by Foni Joyce Vuni, Youth Delegate

The Campaign urges states to adopt alternatives to detention that fulfil the best interests of the child.

Fighting in South Sudan has separated families and orphaned children. Meet four teenagers who are raising younger siblings on their own.

Deserted by their parents and fleeing El Salvador's murderous street gangs, three young brothers navigate the asylum process in Mexico with UNHCR support.

Indonesia. Rohingya siblings split by tragedy

Rescuers plucked Yasin from the Malacca Strait, where he was clinging to planks for dear life. The young Rohingya refugee's sister and parents were not so lucky.

After their infant daughter survived horrendous burns in Libya gas tank blast, refugee family starts over in Belgium.

Mexico. Central American Refugees

Sexual violence, beatings and forced recruitment by gangs drives thousands of Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan youngsters to run for their lives.