Good Practices / Blue Dots

Blue Dots

Provision of information
and prevention of discrimination

Organization that is implementing

UNHCR, UNICEF

Country

Bulgaria 

and other countries in Central  and Eastern Europe

Level of
Implementation

Local

Regional

Target Group

Refugees – from Ukraine (Temporary protections holders)

SDG’s

Project Overview

Jointly established by UNICEF and UNHCR together with local authorities and partners, ‘Blue Dots’ are safe spaces along border crossings in neighbouring countries that provide children and families with critical information and services. Blue Dot hubs provide refugees with critical information and practical support to help them in their onward journeys.

They identify and register children travelling on their own and connect them to protection services, and also offer referral services to women, including for gender-based violence. For children, Blue Dot hubs provide a safe, welcoming space to rest, play and simply be a child, at a time when their world has been abruptly turned upside down in fear and panic, and they are facing the trauma of leaving family, friends and all that is familiar.

Main Activities

Information and advice desks where families on the move can find out about the support and services available to them as refugees, including from host countries, humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and others.

Families are also made aware of their rights under international humanitarian law. Child-friendly spaces, allowing children to rest, play and benefit from structured activities and psychosocial support from trained staff, with separate spaces/activities for young children and adolescents to meet their unique needs.

Family reunification services to restore and maintain contact among family members and ensure the safety of children. These services also provide information on how to best prevent the separation of families travelling together.

Counselling and psychosocial support for both children and parents/caregivers who may be facing considerable trauma and stress from their experiences.

Psychologists, social workers and other trained professionals are on hand to identify children who might need further support, especially unaccompanied or separated children.

Referral services to connect refugees who have suffered violence or are experiencing health conditions and other circumstances that require specialized support.

Blue Dots also enable UNICEF and partners to identify vulnerable children and women and refer them to specialized services. The vulnerable may include families, single mothers or children at risk, such as unaccompanied children, those with disabilities or illnesses, cases of suspected trafficking, and survivors of sexual or gender-based violence.

Safe areas to sleep where people with specific needs can rest for a short time or be referred to longer-term emergency accommodation.

Emergency items (such as clothing, hygiene items, blankets) for highly vulnerable children and women, including children with disabilities.

More Information

How was the Project born?

The initiative is a response to the Ukraine displacement emergency response.

 

From late February 2022, a forced displacement emerged throughout Europe. Over 7.6 million refugees from Ukraine have been registered across Europe, and by late May. By 20 March, about a fifth of the nation’s residents had left their homes in Ukraine.  Women and children make are 90% of Ukrainian refugees By the 24th of March 2022, more than half of all children in Ukraine had left their homes, with one-fourth of them leaving the country together. As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, this is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

 

This context required an urgent reactions by the organisations working in the field of refugee and asylum issues. The practice is results from the developed durable partnerships during the years that allows the organisations to work together for a better humanitarian response – in emergency context, as well as in normal operational mode. 

Is this project/program replicable and/or scalable?

 

All services at one place in emergency repose –  in case of massive  influx of people.