Propelled by violence, insecurity, and abuse, thousands of unaccompanied children flee their homes — largely in Central America — each year to make the treacherous journey to seek refuge in the United States. The number of children making this journey has doubled every year since 2010, and is set to eclipse 60,000 in 2014. Governments, refugee organizations, and other NGOs are concerned about this increase and are closely monitoring this situation, and three organizations have recently released reports on the issue:
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) examines the situation facing child migrants and the difficulties they often face in navigating the U.S. immigration system.
- UNHCR’s new report Children on the Run takes a deeper look at the humanitarian impact of this situation through in-depth interviews with over 400 children who made the solo journey to the United States.
- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sponsored a delegation to Central America in November 2013, and released a report detailing their interviews with government officials, service organizations, and child migrants themselves, and the policy recommendations these meetings produced.