Last year, at least 4,579 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya. It is estimated that at least 700 of those who lost their lives were children.

Refugee and migrant children and women are routinely suffering sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and detention along the Central Mediterranean migration route from North Africa to Italy. A Deadly Journey for Children: The Central Mediterranean Migrant Route provides an in-depth look at the extreme risks facing refugee and migrant children as they make the perilous journey from sub-Saharan Africa into Libya and across the sea to Italy.

Children are at the heart of one of the biggest movements of people in history. One in every 45 children in the world today is on the move. They may be labelled “refugee,” “displaced” or “migrant.” But first and foremost children are children. No matter where they come from, no matter who they are.

> Find out more about children uprooted

Watch videos about children uprooted around the world

Children being detained in Libya

Agenda for Action

UNICEF is calling for a six-point plan to keep
refugee and migrant children safe

UNICEF in action

“50 million children are on the move, some fleeing violence, war, poverty and climate change. They shouldn’t be forced to put their lives in the hands of smugglers or be left vulnerable to traffickers…If these were our children, alone and frightened, we would act.”

Afshan Khan,
UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States