A humanitarian crisis for children is unfolding in Central America and Mexico. On October 13, a group of 160 people set out from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, joining the tens of thousands of Central Americans who leave home every year, fleeing gang violence, extortion, poverty and lack of opportunity. As they moved northward, other groups from Guatemala and El Salvador merged with the migrant caravan, swelling its ranks and capturing the world's attention.
Families only leave home when they have to, in search of safety and a better life
In the past weeks, nearly 10,000 people have crossed into Mexico from Central America, including at least 2,300 children. The long and arduous journey has left children dehydrated, exhausted and exposed in inclement weather, including dangerously hot temperatures, without a roof over their heads or even a blanket to cover themselves.
Children traveling with the caravan need protection and assistance
UNICEF is there to help.
A child is a child. The children traveling in the migrant caravan urgently need protection, clean water, health care, shelter and adequate sanitation. In Mexico, UNICEF is working with the government and other partners to ensure that uprooted children are provided with the help and services they need and that their rights are upheld.
Together with partners, @unicefmexico is providing children and families in the #MigrantCaravan with safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation packs, rehydration salts, sunscreen and soap.#AChildIsAChild first and foremost, regardless of their migration status. pic.twitter.com/BFAcJBb7eH— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 27, 2018
UNICEF is on the ground, standing up for migrant children
UNICEF is setting up drinking-water facilities in areas where members of the caravan are spending the night and starting distribution of oral rehydration salts, family hygiene and sanitation kits, soap and sunscreen, and working to install separate latrine and shower facilities for children and adults. Throughout northern Central American and Mexico, UNICEF is coordinating with civil society partners to provide counseling for children and families who have endured violence, exploitation and abuse at different stages of their journey.
UNICEF works with national and local governments and civil society partners to help and protect migrating children — and to address the root causes that drive them to flee, with or without their parents, in the first place. Please help UNICEF stand up for vulnerable migrant children, and give them the kindness and assistance they deserve.
Top photo: © Getty Images