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A Child is a Child

Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation


Date of publication:  01 May 2017 Publisher:  UNICEF Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

Through a series of unfortunate catastrophes, such as violence, impoverishment, conflict, and disaster, millions of children are perpetually transcending international frontiers, with visions to live a normal life. This recent report produced by UNICEF explores aspects relating to child migration and highlights key imperative themes of this subject. Through the increasing hostilities on part of many international states, many of these children seek life threatening and illicit alternatives to cross borders. An alarming portion of these children are unaccompanied, unguarded, owe few, if any resources, and are vulnerable to illicit acts.

According to this report, an increasing number of unaccompanied youth are on the move. This is exemplified through the 92% of children arriving in Italy in 2016 and the first two months of 2017, who traveled alone. This percentage constitutes an increase of nearly 20% since the preceding year. Furthermore, at least 300,000 unaccompanied youth were identified in 80 international states in 2015 to 2016, which is nearly greater than the equivalent 2010 to 2011 levels. 

Family reunification, objectives to achieve a more secure life style, and push factors such as forced practices and conflict, are only few reasons comprising the motivations of the large number of youth migrating out of their native countries. 

The extreme limitations of options offered to migrants amidst a global crises, forces many of them to seek illegal entry, such as smuggling. This report cites Europal which indicates that 20% of suspected smugglers associate with human smuggling activities.

The alarming number of migrant children coincide with poor and inappropriate conditions available to them in shelters and on the streets. Within certain facilities, abuse is common, and resources at times aren't fairly granted to such children. Moreover, many migrants are living in a state of precariousness and are trapped in countries they do not want to be in, due to increasing hostilities of the international community toward migration.

Having this being said, this report advocates for the cohesive operations among countries to prioritize children on the move and to oversee the provision of protection. This report explored crucial aspects pertaining to children migration such as: reasons of migration, risks, struggles, and protection. 

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