Studies, Reviews and Research

Conflict and Violence and Mixed Migration Flows of Children and Youth in East and the Horn of Africa

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Save the Children International

Over the past years, the world has witnessed record levels of mixed migration, mainly originating from and hosted within developing countries. Individuals and families migrate for a variety of reasons, some choose to leave to seek education and employment opportunities or to escape poverty, while many are forced to leave their homes, fleeing natural disasters, conflicts, and violence, discrimination or persecution. 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced in 2018, 52% of whom are children. Whatever the reason for their journey, migrating children – especially those traveling alone – find themselves extremely vulnerable to a variety of risks, including physical and sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse.

In this context, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has collaborated with Save the Children (SCI) through a four- year programme, to build the protection and self-reliance of children and youth in vulnerable displacement situations along East African migration routes, starting with Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. In order to design evidence based intervention, four regional research pieces were undertaken to inform programme development and design. The findings and conclusions served to support the development of relevant interventions along the route, ensuring that SCI’s activities will reach the most vulnerable children and youth and effectively strengthen their self-reliance and address acute protection needs.

This is the summary report of the Conflict Analysis that work with a broad definition, from large-scale civil war, inter-ethnic tribal clashes, to communal disputes, resource conflicts and family violence, conflict is a significant driver of migration in the Horn of Africa. Migration as an escape from conflict and violence is especially significant for young people and children, who are often the most exposed to the damaging impacts of conflict, through early army conscription, the targeted recruitment of minors, attacks on civilians and infrastructure, especially schools, and the mass movement of families. The study provides an overview of macro-level conflict-induced migration and well as more specifically, the violence against child along the route.

The publication is part of the series conducted simultaneously. It was spearheaded by Save the Children’s East and South Africa Regional Office, Regional Programme Unit.

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