Nearly 50 million children worldwide have been uprooted from their homes, a new report from UNICEF found. Of that number, 28 million are refugees who were forcibly displaced by conflict.

The report, Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children, paints a harrowing picture of the trials that these children face day in and day out. It evokes the images of Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed ashore after drowning in the sea while trying to seek safety; and Omran Daqneesh, who sat in an ambulance, face bloodied and dazed, after his home was bombed by an airstrike. These images, that represent millions of children globally, stunned the world—at least for a moment.

According to the report, “the number of child refugees jumped by roughly 75 per cent between 2010 and 2015.” Within that time, 15 conflicts broke out or reignited. Representing about a third of the global population, half of these children were found to be refugees. In addition to the displaced and refugee children, millions more migrate in an attempt to find a better life, including more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors who are fleeing poverty and gang violence.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake asked, “What price will we all pay if we fail to provide these young people with opportunities for education and a more normal childhood? How will they be able to contribute positively to their societies? If they can’t, not only will their futures be blighted, but their societies will be diminished as well.”

The report offered some actionable suggestions, which include protecting child refugees and migrants from exploitation, keeping families together, ensuring education and health care, and seeking ways to mitigate the underlying causes so that long-term solutions may be developed.

Lake said, “Each picture, each girl or boy, represents many millions of children in danger – and this demands that our compassion for the individual children we see be matched with action for all children.”

Photo credit: DFID, Flickr