As some 7,000 mostly-Honduran migrants continue their journey northwards toward the United States, governments must prioritize the needs of migrant children when it comes to applying immigration laws and procedures, said the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday.
Highlighting the vulnerability of children on the move, the agency advised all transit and destination countries, to consider alternatives to immigration detention.
According to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), thousands of men, women, and children, including unaccompanied children, are still making their way through Mexico toward the southern border of the US.
Their journey is arduous, especially when opting for irregular migration routes. The dangers of inclement weather, including soaring temperatures and lack of shelter are high, especially for children, say UN agencies.
Some have already fallen ill or are suffering from dehydration, said UNICEF, while the danger of extortion by criminal smuggling gangs, or threats of robbery and sexual violence are also present; perils from which many are already fleeing.
‘When I saw our house burning…it was time to flee’ Eduardo, 16
Eduardo, a sixteen-year-old from Honduras, told UNHCR that the gang violence in his hometown of Colon had become so intense, he felt he had no other option but to leave the country.
- ‘Stand united against anti-Muslim hatred’ urges Guterres, after mosque shootings in New Zealand leave 49 dead
- The Secretary-General’s remarks at the opening of the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women [prefaced by remarks about plane crash in Ethiopia on 10 March 2019] New York, 11 March 2019
- Women’s empowerment ‘essential to global progress’ says Guterres, marking International Day
- UNAIDS ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible
- Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality - UN human rights expert