Migrant and displaced children are one of the most fragile populations in the world. These girls and boys have been hit with extra force by COVID-19 and its devastating impacts. Their rights are under serious threat – but data that identify the most vulnerable children among them and the specific deprivations they face are lacking. Many of these children – and girls in particular – are falling through the cracks.
This issue brief surveys the existing literature based on the limited available data to highlight areas of urgent concern for children on the move as they navigate life during the pandemic, examined through the lens of gender. Emerging evidence indicates certain gender-specific challenges for migrant and displaced children are intensifying. Some of these threats predated the virus and are now escalating, others have emerged as a result of COVID-19 and its consequences.
But this picture is far from complete. There is an urgent need to more closely monitor the situation of all children who have left home to keep pace with emerging trends and vulnerabilities. Now, more than ever, investments in data collection methods and improved data availability and quality are crucial.