6.3 million migrant children in the region are facing life-threatening situations and multiple forms of violence. They seek to get away from violent gangs that target them or poverty and exclusion that deny them opportunities and hope. Many also travel north to reunite with their families.
Hundreds of thousands of children move on their own and with their families, often using dangerous routes and engaging smugglers to help them cross borders. Deprived, unprotected and often alone, children on the move can become easy prey to traffickers and others who abuse and exploit them.
Regardless of their immigration status, all children have the right to be protected from harm; to obtain essential services such as health care and education; to be with their families; and to have their best interests guide decisions which affect them.