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Starting in 2022, the Inter-American Dialogue has initiated a line of work focused on migrant children.
Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing the largest flow of migrants in the history of the region. Hundreds of thousands of people are forced to migrate as a result of the convergence of factors such as violence, poverty, inequality, hunger and food insecurity, political instability, and persecution, as well as the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. Regarding children and adolescents, UNICEF estimated that by 2022, these kinds of migrants could reach 3.5 million. This figure, which includes migrant children and adolescents and those living in host communities, represents an increase of 47 percent compared to 2021.
Migrant children and adolescents are in a “double” situation of vulnerability due to their age and migratory status. This poses political challenges for the region’s countries and requires specific and adequate protection of the rights of children and adolescents by the States and the different actors involved. The needs of migrant children and adolescents, especially the youngest ones, are not sufficiently visible, which translates into a lack of policies, programs, and legislation focused on protecting their rights and providing the minimum conditions for development, well-being, and dignified life.
This situation demands urgent regional, national, and local actions by all States and other relevant actors to guarantee children and adolescents the full exercise of their rights.
Convinced that migrant children are not a cross-border issue between a few countries but rather an issue that brings together the entire region, the Inter-American Dialogue has formed a working group that will seek to ensure that the rights of migrant children and adolescents have no borders.
About the Working Group
Aware of the enormous challenge to be faced and the value and potential of a regional platform, the Inter-American Dialogue convened relevant regional actors to form a working group. This group is made up of government representatives, civil society leaders, experts in migration and early childhood, international organizations, and cooperation agencies.
The purpose of the group is to generate a regional consensus on the most effective mechanisms to guarantee the full exercise of the rights of migrant children and thus ensure that a greater number of migrant children have access to the services and development opportunities they need. To this end, the group meets periodically to develop proposals and serve as a spearhead to promote changes in the policies and programs of the different countries in the region.
December 2022 – Protecting Migrant And Refugee Children in the Americas
December 2022 – A Concept Note on Migrant Children
November 2022 – Child Migration Protection in the Americas
April 2023 – ONLINE EVENT: Information About Child Migration
November 2022 – Summary of Working Group’s First Meeting