Migration and Children

UNICEF initiatives on migration and children

©UNICEF/ HQ04-0737/Jim Holmes - LAO PEOPLE S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC: People prepare to cross the Mekong River into neighbouring Thailand in small boats, at an official border crossing in southern Lao PDR



Many UNICEF offices pay close attention to migration and children in their engagement with development partners in governments, non-governmental organizations and in intergovernmental forums. A number of research efforts are underway across the organization - in country and regional offices, as well as in Headquarters. The research undertaken by UNICEF IRC complements these other UNICEF activities in its geographical scope (by including Asia, Africa and Europe) and in its thematic scope (by including children who migrate independently and with their families).
Research underway at global level:
  • UNICEF is working with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to estimate the numbers of international migrant children, and to test methodologies to assess the social impact of migration.
  • UNICEF is developing employment programmes at the country level to alleviate the pressure on young people to leave their families and countries in search of jobs abroad.
  • UNICEF is exploring research on the linkages between migration, climate change and environmental degradation, and their effects on children and women.
  • UNICEF is assessing the effects of remittances on children left behind in Albania, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Jamaica, Morocco, the Philippines and Republic of Moldova.
Contact person: Rhea Saab, UNICEF New York

West and Central Africa

UNICEF is developing a regional multi-partner migration research and programme development. Studies and workshops have been conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo.

Contact person: Pierre Ferry, UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa

North Africa

UNICEF is initiating an interregional South-South migration study encompassing West Africa and North Africa, partnering with the MIGRINTER research centre, University of Poitiers, France.

Contact persons: Pierre Ferry, UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa and Trish Hiddleston, UNICEF Regional Office Middle East and North Africa

Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States

UNICEF organized a Technical Consultation on Children and Migration in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Baku (Azerbaijan), from 29-30 March 2007.

Contact person: Gordon Alexander, UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS



UNICEF Intranet page on migration (access for UNICEF staff only)

Contact us on migration issues