Missing from the story: The urgent need for better data to protect children on the move


November 14, 2021

Today, more girls and boys are on the move than ever before. At the end of 2020, 35.5 million children under the age of 18 were living outside their country of birth. An estimated 33.7 million children – or 1 in 69 children globally – have been displaced within their own borders or across them, mostly due to conflict and violence. Many are urgently fleeing life-threatening situations, including disasters like floods and storms.

They face dangers and deprivations no child should experience, and violations of their rights that countries around the world have pledged to protect. But for too many children who have migrated or been displaced, their stories remain largely untold. Too many remain uncounted and unseen, missing from data collection and analysis efforts. Children on the move have a right to be heard. A first step is to count them, no matter where in the world they live or what the circumstances of their movement are.

This inaugural International Data Alliance for Children on the Move (IDAC) info brief, Data InSight #1, uses the most recent available data to describe the current situation of children on the move. Key facts and figures illuminate the scale and scope of children’s movement around the globe and how data and statistics play an integral role in protecting these vulnerable children. Convincing as these data are, they are also far from complete. The IDAC info brief explores some of the reasons why, which data are missing and how the global community can address these gaps.


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9 Facts about children on the move


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