Tens of thousands of children fleeing to U.S.
Poverty and gang violence fuelling migration
Almost 26,000 unaccompanied children — and nearly 30,000 people, mostly mothers and young children — fled Central America to the U.S. this year in search of a better life, according to a UNICEF report.
“The flow of young refugees and migrants highlights the critical importance of tackling the violence and socio-economic conditions in their countries of origin,” said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF's deputy executive director of the report, which cites El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as countries families are fleeing — regions with high levels of poverty and violence.
But, leaving the country is spurring other problems. As many as six out of 10 women and girls experience sexual violence on their journey, according to UNICEF’s quote of an Amnesty International report. Other dangers cited include being kidnapped, trafficked or dying in desert heat.
Christian Children's Fund of Canada is addressing this issue. We are leading a four-year $15.2-million project to fight irregular child migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Children & Youth Have Options to Fight Irregular Migration project is being implemented in partnership with ChildFund International and Educo.