Children represent around a quarter of all migrants worldwide. While in June 2015, one in ten migrants reaching the Macedonian border from Greece was a child, in October 2015 it was one in three.
Without regular status and the protection that comes with it, children on the move are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse. The unknown social and cultural environment, as well as their age and level of development, often make it impossible for them to be aware of and assert their rights.
Rather than opening regular, safe and cheap channels for migration, states continue to erect walls, use barbed wire fences and systemically detain migrants, including children. For too many children, their experience is all too often linked to their status as immigrants, rather than their age. While there is little reliable data on how many migrant children are being detained, there is evidence that it is happening around the world.