Harrowing Journeys

Children and youth on the move across the Mediterranean Sea, at risk of trafficking and exploitation


Date of publication:  19 Sep 2017 Author:  UNICEF IOM Publisher:  UNICEF; IOM Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

The report done by UNICEF and IOM is based on the survey results of around 11 000 migrant and refugee children, conduced in 2016 and 2017, focusing on children and youth migrating along the Central and Eastern Mediterranean routes to Europe.

In this document you can find more information about the methodology for this survey, as well as some of the limitations, aiming to track some of the world`s most dangerous routes for refugee and migrant children. The report goes on to analyze trafficking, detention, xenophobia, racism, and exploitation as some of the most immanent dangers for the refugee and migrant children on their journey to Europe. Finally, the report provides analysis on protecting children and outlines a set of recommendations in relation to this.

According to the report “for children and youth on the move via the Mediterranean Sea routes to Europe, the journey is marked by high levels of abuse, trafficking and exploitation. Some are more vulnerable than others: those travelling alone, those with low levels of education and those undertaking longer journeys. Most vulnerable of all are those who, like Mohammad, come from sub-Saharan Africa”.

The key recommendations suggest it is essential to listen to the refugee and migrant children and provide them platforms to express their views and needs, to provide safe pathways for those on the move, to cooperate across borders and provide services according to the needs of children, end detention and ensure access to education, collect more data and evidence, fight discrimination they face and protect working children from exploitation.

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