Protecting Children in Central America and Mexico
An unprecedented number of unaccompanied children mainly from Central America have been migrating to the United States since 2014 seeking protection. Many come fleeing sexual and gender-based violence, gang violence, drug traffickers or cartels, domestic violence, human trafficking, and violence and discrimination against LGBTI individuals, violence from which their countries of origin fail to protect them. Others leave because it is unsafe for them to attend school or to work because they live in a gang controlled territory or must cross through one to attend school. Once on the journey, children are extremely vulnerable to rape, and sexual assault, and exploitation by human traffickers, smugglers, drug cartels, gangs, and sometimes even corrupt government officials. Some children ultimately remain in the United States or Mexico, but others may be deported to their countries of origin or choose to return and face a range of challenges and risks upon return.
Through our projects, partnerships, and advocacy in Central America and Mexico, KIND aims to ensure children’s rights and protection needs before, during and after migration.