New Comprehensive Report on Child Migration

Thousands of unaccompanied child migrants flee their homes in Central America and Mexico each year. They are trying to escape harms such as physical abuse, trafficking, forced gang recruitment, and sexual abuse, or to reunite with parents living in Mexico or the United States. They brave harrowing journeys during which they are prey to many kinds of exploitation and violence, and their numbers have grown exponentially in recent years.

CGRS recently released a comprehensive book-length study that examines the treatment of migrant children in countries along the migration corridor. Unprecedented in scope, Childhood and Migration in Central and North America: Causes, Policies, Practices and Challenges was supported by a grant from the Migration Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. To produce the study, CGRS partnered with the Human Rights Center at the University of Lanus in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and collaborated with a dozen organizations in Central America, U.S., and Mexico.

The study looks at child welfare policies and the treatment of migrant children in each country as well as what happens to children following repatriation to their countries. It provides national, regional, and international policy recommendations for ensuring protection for child migrants and enshrining the best interests and rights of children in migration policies. Recommendations address ways to improve the migration, repatriation, and reintegration processes throughout the region and to improve the treatment of unaccompanied children at borders and within the countries throughout the region. They also propose a blueprint for building a regional civil society network that enables sharing expertise and promoting a rights-based approach to policies and procedures regarding migrant children.

Read the UC Hastings press release about the study. 

CGRS Partners 

Asociación Pop No’j and Pastoral de Movilidad Humana in Guatemala

Casa Alianza in Honduras

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de CórdovaCoalición Pro Defensa del Migrante, and Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional (PDIB) in Mexico

Migration & Human Rights Program, Human Rights Center, Universidad Nacional de Lanús in Argentina

Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” in El Salvador

Women’s Refugee Commission and Kids in Need of Defense in the U.S.