Nearshore Americas

UN Alerts of ‘Child Migration Crisis’ in LATAM & Caribbean

Child migration has reached alarmingly high levels in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Millions of children and whole families across Latin America and the Caribbean are leaving their homes and communities in search of better opportunities elsewhere, the United Nations revealed.

Poverty, gang violence, lack of basic amenities and erratic weather events are the main drivers behind this exodus, reported UNICEF, the UN agency for children, has noted.

In 2022, around 250,000 migrants, including 40,000 children, crossed the dangerous Darien jungle. In the first six months of 2023, more than 196,000 people did so.

Migrants have a visible presence throughout northern Central America and Mexico. Haitians and Venezuelans are migrating in increasing numbers, and there is also a small but significant number of people leaving Cuba and Nicaragua. There are also people moving within and beyond the Andean countries of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Most of them are moving across treacherous terrain riddled with criminal gangs. Some of them end up detained in a foreign country, while others are sent back home, even though they do not want to go back.

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In 2022, at least 92 migrant children died or went missing while moving through the region.

Globally, children make up around 13% of the migrant population. In Latin America, the figure reaches 25%, according to UNICEF.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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