Educational opportunities in Europe by migrant and refugee children should be expanded. According to TASSS, this was stated in a joint statement issued in Geneva on Wednesday by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
They called on European countries to increase resources and practical support for their school systems, ensuring that all children of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants can access and receive a quality education.
Currently, children and adolescents born outside of Europe have two times less chances to complete school than their European peers, according to UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF. Among the main difficulties on the way of children of refugees and migrants to education at the UN are the lack of financial resources, the insufficient number of places in schools or trained teachers, language barriers, and the lack of psychological support. There are especially many difficulties for children aged 3-5 years and for adolescents 15 years and older because often they are not covered by national legislation on compulsory secondary education.
According to the director of the UNHCR's European Bureau, education is vital for refugee children, as a quality education improves life chances, facilitates integration, and represents a winning path for both the learner and society.
UNHCR, IOM, and UNICEF believe that European countries need to expand the educational opportunities for children of refugees and migrants at an early age and to facilitate their full secondary education and training.