Should I Stay or Should I go? Understanding children’s migration decisions in Northern Central America

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English, Spanish


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Save the Children International

Far more children choose to remain within, or close to, communities featuring high rates of migration, rather than to leave – yet we know surprisingly little about their reasons for doing so. This report expands on the Why Children Stay Report conducted in 2018. It was conducted to gain a stronger understanding of patterns and differences of migratory decision-making across vastly different contexts.

Phase II research focused on children from North Central America (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) which is a very different context to the African countries studied in Phase I. North Central America (NCA) is a region known for a high level of internal and cross border migration. Children in NCA are particularly vulnerable to both poverty and violence, as a result of gangs, economic instability and poor governance. While placing children’s voices at the heart of the conversation, Phase II investigates whether there are commonalities or differences that would deepen our understanding of why children stay.


This material is a part of the North Central America Migration Crisis and Save the Children Response Collection.

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