Children washing clothes at Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo by Dr Bina D'Costa.

Children washing clothes at Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo by Dr Bina D'Costa.

Protecting children on the move

A refugee camp is not the easiest place to conduct field research, but when you are exploring how best to protect children during their migration journey, that is where the need is greatest. Olivia Wenholz reports.

The now-iconic image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body washed up on a beach in Turkey in September 2015 sparked a public outcry and turned the world’s attention to Europe’s forced migration dilemmas involving children.

Dr Bina D’Costa joined UNICEF at the height of the Syrian refugee emergency in Europe. She has recently returned to ANU after spending three years leading the children and migration research program at the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.

Her work there involved some harrowing times in the front line, doing humanitarian work on the ground in refugee camps in Somaliland, in Bangladesh during the Rohingya emergency and in many other refugee emergency locations including Jordan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kenya, Niger and Libya.