Children and families continue to travel between South and Central America, Mexico, and the United States in record numbers. Many experience abuse, exploitation, detention, deprivation, and discrimination along their migration journeys. International law underscores that all children have a right to safety and to access protection, seek asylum, and remain and reunite with family members. National, state, and local governments have the responsibility to protect children and families on the move, regardless of where they are from or where they are going. However, child welfare and protection systems—already fragile prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—have been overwhelmed and unable to respond to the scale of need. Civil society and community-based responses are key to building and sustaining protective factors for children and families along the migratory route, but these are also underfunded and overcapacity.
This conversation focused on how young people find protection along the migration corridor and at the border. What strategies do children on the move develop to increase their sense of safety and protection? What can we learn from these? How can policies and programs respond to the lived experiences of children on the move?
This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues, the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Georgetown Americas Institute. It is part of the series Innovating Protection for Children on the Move Across the Americas, with webinars planned for March 30, April 22, and May 4.
This webinar was available in English and Spanish.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Gwendolen