Millions of children are currently on the move for a variety of reasons. Whether it is voluntarily or involuntarily, and with or without their parents or other primary caregivers, children on the move are at risk of inadequate care, economic or sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect and violence.

Children on the move’ is an umbrella term that brings together a series of categories of children including:

  • Children who have been trafficked
  • Children who migrate (e.g. to pursue better life opportunities, to look for work or education or to escape exploitative or abusive situations at home, or because of other protection needs)
  • Children displaced by conflict and natural disasters
  • Children who live and work in the streets.


Protecting children on the move in Latin America

In Latin America, forced migration from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador has increased dramatically, reaching a peak of over 50,000 children entering the U.S. in 2014. With more than 11,000 cases of child migration from Honduras to Mexico annually in recent years, 39% were unaccompanied. Extreme level of violence and poverty are the main causes why children are forced to migrate.

We work with migrant and displaced children through programs by:

  • Preventing Unsafe Migration by improving livelihoods and the opportunities for personal, economic and social development within their communities of origin in the Northern Triangle.
  • Peace-Building in Schools strengthening the capacities of students, parents, and teachers to achieve schools free of violence and safe spaces in 70 schools in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
  • Preventing Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants defending women and youth at risk or victims of human trafficking in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
  • Improving Child Protection Systems by strengthening local and cross-border protection systems (both formal and informal) and building in quality services for children in the Northern Triangle and Mexico.
  • Protecting Internally Displaced Children by improving protection systems for children who have been displaced and/or returned to their countries after migration in El Salvador and Honduras.
  • Providing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services to returning adolescents in El Salvador and Guatemala.

[1] UNCRC Article 32 outlines the right to be protected from economic exploitation and from hazardous and harmful forms of work. ILO Convention 182 advocates for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
[OL1] – Insert link to SGBV sub-page developed in GE section
[SH2] – Link to Gender Equality page on website
[OL3] – Add link to Violence Free School page under Education section
[OL4] – Consider removing if not linked with graphic