Often, they are exposed to risks such as family separation, trafficking, child marriage, lack of access to basic services and psychological distress. Those risks are even greater for unaccompanied and separated children lacking direct protection from siblings or parents. Depending for example on their age, nationality, ethnicity, religion or the specifics of their family situations, the needs of migrant children can vary greatly. In their journey, girls and boys are also exposed to different risks ranging from sexual and gender-based violence to child labour.
The existing challenges of addressing complex, cross-border, rapidly-evolving migration phenomena require humanitarian and development actors to develop new intervention logics and approaches. In order to adequately respond to the protection needs of migrant children, we are becoming more agile in how we operate (e.g. adjusting to changing routes and evolving political environments) simultaneously in the countries of origin, transit and destination. Learn more in our Migration Information Centre.
Migration in East Africa:
International and cross-border migration movements present serious risks for child safety and security with many children exposed to important protection issues when crossing borders and during their journeys. Children on the move in East Africa come mainly from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Along the East Africa migration route up to Egypt or Libya (and potentially toward Europe), we are starting to implement a ten-year regional project in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt – learn more.