Usually more than half of any refugee population are children. Refugee children are children first and foremost, and as children, they need special attention. As refugees, they are particularly at risk with the uncertainty and unprecedented upheavals which are increasingly marking the post-Cold War era.
In order to improve and enhance the protection and care of refugee children, UNHCR has adopted a Policy on Refugee Children, endorsed by the UNHCR Executive Committee in October 1993. The UNHCR Guidelines on Refugee Children, first published in 1988, have been updated in the light of the new Policy and are presented in this document. At their core lies the realization of the need which children have for special care and assistance.