Whatever the reason for their journey, migrating children – especially those traveling alone – find themselves extremely vulnerable to a variety of risks, including physical and sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. They often lack the means to protect themselves, meet their basic needs and maintain their dignity.
A range of social, physical, organisational and legal barriers also prevent many children and youth on the move from accessing the assistance they need. In many East Africa countries, child protection legislation fails to consider the specific vulnerabilities of, and provide adequate protection to, children on the move.
It should be understood that migrant children – like any children in the world – are protected by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is also applicable to non-nationals too.