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Online Red Cross refugee training launched

Online learning platform FutureLearn has teamed up with 16 international humanitarian agencies and children’s rights organisations to host a course focusing on the needs of unaccompanied and separated refugee children.

Photo: FutureLearn

The course is available in four languages and will begin May 29

The six-week online course will teach participants what the vulnerable group require and best practice, from how separation is prevented to when alternative care is suitable.

“Unaccompanied and separated children are especially vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation, yet struggle to find or access the assistance they need,” Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies noted.

“Some of the world’s youngest citizens are facing the greatest adversities”

The Caring for Children Moving Alone course has been created with the support of members of the Geneva-based Taskforce for Children on the Move, including International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

The course takes into account important international standards such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children; and the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees.

“[The course] helps learners understand how to work in ways that implement the aims and aspirations of [our] commitments,” senior migration advisor at UNICEF Verena Knaus explained.

The course is available in four languages – English, French, Spanish and Arabic – and will begin May 29.

It adds to FutureLearn’s “rich tradition” of delivering humanitarian courses, according to the company’s MD of Courses and Learning, Nigel Smith.

“We are really proud of this work and delighted to be partnering with such prominent international humanitarian agencies and children’s rights organisations in the delivery of Caring for Children Moving Alone and be providing a course on such an important topic,” said Smith.

FutureLearn recently partnered with Amnesty International to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also provided frontline healthcare professionals with a course to help contextualise the Ebola crisis of 2015 with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he added.

The Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection at the University of Strathclyde has produced the course content with frontline workers, volunteers, policy makers in mind.

“Some of the world’s youngest citizens are facing the greatest adversities,” said Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director of CELCIS – helping protect and care for them is a responsibility of people in public and voluntary services across the globe, she added.

The course will provide “new practical learning, to help support those working with children and young people to better realise children’s rights and improve their life chances”, Davidson added.

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