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Gender and Social Inclusion

Youth Migration: Fleeing Insecurity in Search of a Better Life

Boys on train La Bestia cropped

Boys from Central America riding on “La Bestia,” which they hope will bring them to a safer life in the U.S. Screen still from the documentary film, “Which Way Home.” Courtesy of Mr. Mudd/Documentress Films.

People are often surprised when I tell them I advocate on behalf of unaccompanied youth, many of them as young as 11 or 12, coming to the United States alone. “What do you mean alone, they must be with someone” people often reply. But I really do mean alone. I mean youth who leave their homes, and on their own find smugglers or other migrants to help them find their way North. They board buses, ride on top of trains or hide in the back of trucks alone, with no one protecting them. They are vulnerable to unimaginable dangers from smugglers, drug cartels, traffickers and even other migrants. Yet, to these youth, the dangers they face in their home country are worse than the dangers they face on their journey, so they risk their lives to reach a place of safety.

Read the blog on the Thomson Reuters Foundation blog here.


Gender and Social Inclusion