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Learn more about UNICEF’s work under the topic "migrants".

At least 327,000 children from Venezuela are living as migrants and refugees in Colombia. Without increased support, their health, education, protection and well-being will be in jeopardy, UNICEF said today. 

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As families continue to migrate from northern Central America and Mexico, UNICEF is helping protect children along the way and addressing the circumstances that lead to their journeys.

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Over the past three years, the economic crisis in Venezuela has led hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents to leave the country with their families to migrate to other countries in the region, mostly to Peru and Colombia. They set out on the journey in difficult conditions and weary of the discrimination and xenophobia they might face in some places along the way.

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Young migrants are full of potential. When they’re supported they can become agents of positive change for safe migration, equality and friendship. For Migration Week, UNICEF Canada looks at how everyday objects play a role in telling young migrant’s stories.


Pervasive violence and poverty drive desperate Central Americans to migrate in search of safety and a better life. UNICEF works with governments and local partners to improve conditions in their home countries.


Guest post by Sarah Crowe, senior UNICEF communications specialist for migrant and refugee response in Geneva. Hidden in the ghettos, scattered on the outskirts of this ancient turmeric-coloured city, milling about in centres are hundreds of migrants, stranded, with dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams. They’re on the move to or from neighbouring nations or beyond.


Migration is not inherently dangerous for children – it’s the lack of legal opportunities that makes it risky. As things stand, many children find few opportunities to move legally. Family reunification is often tied to certain residency and income requirements and limited to the nuclear family, excluding extended family members whom children often depend on for care. Part 6 of 6.


Separation from family leaves children more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse not to mention the damaging psychological impact of the separation. Part 5 of 6.


Rarely are children detained to protect them from imminent danger. Often it is a matter of administrative convenience or lack of adequate facilities. Usually children are detained upon arrival, for registration and identification purposes, or prior to being deported; they often remain in detention for extended periods of time. Part 4 of 6.


Children often find few opportunities to move legally. Family reunification, humanitarian visas and refugee resettlement spots, and work or study visas are out of reach for most. Many families are also pulled apart by work visa only permitting the parent to migrate, leaving children behind. Part 3 of 6.