What risks do children and young people face in transit?

Journeys, whether crossing land or water, through regular or irregular method of transport, can be fraught with danger. Children and young people on the road can face violence from security forces trying to control their movement, or from traffickers or smugglers. Trafficking involves recruiting or moving people for the purposes of exploitation, whereas smuggling is defined as helping migrants to cross borders illegally in exchange for payment. Smuggling and trafficking within and from the Horn of Africa have become highly sophisticated, lucrative and responsive to changes in the policy context, and can lead to considerable harm during journeys. Children and young people may also be subject to other types of exploitation, because they are viewed as vulnerable and unable to turn to the authorities for protection, especially if their presence in a country is not considered legal.

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