Children & Adolescents

Children (boys and girls under age 18) require specialized support to address specific needs and risks they face due to their age. Programmes for children should ensure access to appropriate services and support in the child’s best interests.

Risks to Children

Children may face risks to their safety and wellbeing, including but not limited to:

  • Lack of access to documentation
  • Separation from their parents and caregivers before or during flight or while in displacement
  • Sexual violence and exploitation. Girls are usually particularly affected by sexual violence, but boys are also at risk and affected
  • Mental disorders and psychosocial distress
  • Recruitment by armed forces and armed groups
  • Trafficking and smuggling
  • Physical violence and harmful practices, including in the home
  • Child labour
  • Detention

Services to support children

UNHCR works with Child Protection partners, communities, and relevant stakeholders to provide quality case management and psychosocial support (PSS) services to children, as well as general programming and advocacy to address practices that put children at risk.

Several services are available for you. Depending on where you live, these can include: 

  • Child-friendly spaces or mobile services
  • Legal and case management services, including referrals
  • Alternative care arrangements for children in need
  • Structured psychosocial support services for children and caregivers
  • General support and interventions addressing harm to children

How to report concerns

If you believe that a child is at risk of harm in any way, do not stay silent. Call:

For more information, or to make a complaint or provide feedback UNHCR assistance, call the Iraq Information Centre (IIC) toll-free at 80069999. All calls are confidential. The IIC can be reached 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (Sunday – Thursday) and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (weekends and holidays). You can also request a call-back by sending ‘HELP’ and your phone number via SMS to 80069999, or via Facebook messenger (@IICInfo) and IIC operators will call you. Do not send details about your situation over the internet.