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A knowledge resource selected by UNICEF for humanitarian practitioners everywhere

Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Change

There is currently no global policy framework for addressing the needs and rights of children moving in the context of climate change. Where child-related migration policies do exist, they do not consider climate and environmental factors, and where climate change policies exist they usually overlook children’s needs.

The Guiding Principles have been developed to safeguard the rights and well-being of children moving in the context of climate change, and are as follows:

Principle 1: Rights-based approach
Principle 2: Best interests of the child
Principle 3: Accountability
Principle 4: Awareness and participation in decision-making
Principle 5: Family unity
Principle 6: Protection, safety and security
Principle 7: Access to education, health care and social services
Principle 8: Non-discrimination
Principle 9: Nationality

These Guiding Principles are intended to be used by local and national governments, international organizations and civil society groups working with children on the move in the context of climate change. They are based on existing international law as well as operational guidelines or frameworks which have been developed by a variety of stakeholders. The Principles are derived from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and do not create new international legal obligations.



Area of Work

Migration and Displacement


Guidance / Manual



Year Published


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