18 December 2023

On the front line

In Latin America and the Caribbean, millions of children and their families have left their schools, friends and communities across the region through a myriad of migratory flows. They are fleeing violence, poverty, the collapse of essential services, xenophobia or the consequences of climate change. Traveling the migration routes often entails…, BRAZIL, A health assistant examines a baby When Venezuelan María Audaly, 43, left her homeland, she never thought she would end up working again in emergency situations in the country that would become her new home. In Brazil, she is one of the health assistants responsible for ensuring the recovery of Yanomami, Ike’uana and Sanumã children suffering from…, COLOMBIA, Luis Eduardo Ríos, Protection Officer of UNICEF Colombia's Migration Area. Luis Eduardo Ríos, Protection Officer of UNICEF Colombia's Migration Area. "The first thing we work on is to explain to a child that he or she is not to blame for the migratory situation he or she is going through, and for not having a home to live in. That principle shapes…, Juan David Rincón (13) and Dairilys Maurera (16) are two of the thousands of adolescent migrants that Lucho serves in his role as a UNICEF officer. Both were born in Venezuela and in 2019 migrated to Colombia., UNICEF/UNI463231/Estrada Juan David y Dairilys participan con sus compañeros en una batucada Juan David y Dairilys participan con sus compañeros en una batucada, Juan David Rincón (13) and Dairilys Maurera (16) are two of the thousands of adolescent migrants that Lucho serves in his role as a UNICEF officer. Both were born in Venezuela and in 2019 migrated to Colombia., UNICEF/UNI463226/Estrada Los jóvenes Juan David y Dairilys están de píe posando para la foto Juan David y Dairilys participan con sus compañeros en una batucada Colombia hosts the largest number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela: almost three million, according to figures updated as of August 2023 by the Interagency Coordination Platform for…, GUYANA, Shona Jones, Migration Manager at Blossom Inc, a UNICEF implementing partner in Guyana. Shona Jones, Migration Manager at Blossom Inc, a UNICEF implementing partner in Guyana. Thanks to their knowledge of the local context and their integration into the community, UNICEF's partners carry out a fundamental part of the humanitarian work throughout…, HONDURAS, Óscar Madariaga, Protection Specialist at ChildFund Honduras. Óscar Madariaga, Protection Specialist at ChildFund Honduras. After several days of travel, and after crossing Panama and Nicaragua, many children and adolescents carry the psychological wounds of their journey through the jungle and on the roads. In Honduras, UNICEF is a member of the…, PANAMA, "The biggest challenge is to have the emotional intelligence not to break down the moment a child tells you what happened in the jungle. Our job sometimes is listening to them, absorbing the burden they bring and handling it later on.”   Jhon Tovar Barrera, Environmental engineer, specialist in water, sanitation and hygiene. Environmental engineer…, PERU, "In the faces of the children and adolescents that arrive in Peru, we see how courageous they are to leave everything behind and start a new life. That makes us work with a humanitarian approach that is part of a great comprehensive work that goes beyond. We care about the lives of each one of them, especially those who travel alone. It is a…
07 September 2023

Child alert: Child migration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Latin America and the Caribbean region is home to one of the world’s largest and most complex child migration crises. ‘The Changing face of Child Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean: A region like no other’ examines the changing dynamics of child migration in the region through the lens of three key migration flows – northern Central…, chilren sitting on the floor reading, How many children are on the move? , Children are migrating through Latin America and the Caribbean in record numbers and now account for a larger share of the migrant population than in any other region in the world. Globally, children make up around 13 per cent of the migrant population, but they account for 25 per cent of people on the move in Latin America and the Caribbean. In…, What’s behind the crisis? , The root causes of migration in the region are highly variable, from socioeconomic factors like widespread poverty, limited livelihood opportunities, structural inequality, food insecurity and barriers to essential services, to a desire among families to secure a more hopeful future for their children. People may also leave their countries to…, Migrant journeys are long and dangerous… , families stepping of a small boat Families arrive at Lajas Blancas in Panama after crossing through the Darien jungle. The physical risks along these irregular routes are innumerable, especially for migrant children. In 2022, at least 92 migrant children died or went missing while moving through the region, more than any other year since 2014.…, …and marked by growing diversity, hand drawn poster A note included in a UNICEF-supported interactive exhibit called "Voices of Migrants" is displayed at the Museum of Tapachula in Mexico. More and more children are on the move of an increasingly young age, often alone and from diverse countries of origin, including as far away as Africa and Asia. The major flows in child…, With some groups particularly vulnerable, While all refugee and migrant children are likely to face limited access to services in transit or upon reaching their destinations, some groups are especially vulnerable, including children with disabilities, children identifying as LGBTQI+ and children from indigenous groups. Multiple studies have shown that indigenous children don’t have…, How is UNICEF responding?, girls jump rope during a break Regardless of the reasons for leaving their country of origin, or their migratory or legal status, children on the move and their families have rights, including protection and safe access to basic services. UNICEF is on the ground across Latin America and the Caribbean, working alongside governments and partners to…, What is UNICEF calling for?, Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are simultaneously points of origin, transit, destination and return. This means that an all-of-region, integrated approach will be needed to protect all refugee and migrant children and to alleviate the root causes of irregular and forced migration. mural of the silhuette of a person carrying a…, UNICEF CHILD ALERT September 2023 The Changing Face of Child Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean A region like no other 1 UNICEF CHILD ALERT SEPTEMBER 2023 Cover photo: Panama, 2023 UNICEF/UN0854843/Urdaneta UNICEF CHILD ALERT Contents I. Overview 1 II. Movement patterns 4 III. Root causes 9 IV. Dangerous journeys 15 V. Barriers to…