Harrowing Journeys (UNICEF report)
Young migrants and refugees set out to escape harm or secure better futures – and face staggering risks in the process. 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 from sub-Saharan Africa, those travelling alone, those with low levels of education and those undertaking longer journeys. These and more findings come from a joint report by UNICEF and IOM analysing the journeys of some 11,000 young refugees and migrants between 14 and 24 years old along the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes to Europe. The analysis reveals the interplay of factors – from origin and education to the trajectory and duration of their journey– that render them vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and trafficking. This report focuses on those heading to Europe – but echoes of their experiences and testimonies can be found among young migrants and refugees around the world.