The following is a list of vulnerabilities to be considered when working with displaced children and their families, from Save the Children’s Durable Solutions for Children Toolkit 2019 (pp. 63-64).

  • Language and communication barriers: Displaced persons or migrants may not speak the same language as the community they are in.

  • Legal barriers: Displaced persons or migrants often do not have the same legal rights and privileges as the host population.

  • Cultural differences: Displaced persons or migrants may come from a different culture and have different traditions to the host population.

  • Lack of awareness: Displaced persons or migrants may not have full knowledge about the offered services, locations, norms, etc.

  • Racism and discrimination against displaced persons or migrants: Host communities and authorities may discriminate against displaced persons or migrants in the provision of services, aid, opportunities, etc.

  • Lack of social cohesion: Communities may not be welcoming of displaced persons or migrants, making it difficult for them to have a sense of belonging and to socially integrate into society.

  • Restriction of movement: Authorities may restrict the movement of displaced persons or migrants (e.g. not allowing them to leave camps, to go beyond the city limits, etc.), affecting their access to goods and services.
  • Restrictive political environment: Local and global political conditions may not allow the full restoration of the rights of displaced persons or migrants.
  • Parallel systems: Often parallel systems are built up in ministries or among public service providers to cater for refugees/displaced communities, or are even organised by displaced communities themselves. Whereas this may be an appropriate idea in a crisis situation, it will often not be economically sustainable in the longer term or will become counterproductive to integration.
  • Lack of participation and representation: Many situations exist where displaced or migrant populations (especially women, youths and children) do not have access to relevant decision-making forums, because representative structures do not exist, or are not given access to relevant duty bearers.

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