Tipping Points to Turning Points – How Can Programmes and Policies Better Respond to the risks of Child Trafficking and Exploitation on the Central Mediterranean Route?

Every year, tens of thousands of children – many of them unaccompanied – attempt to make a hazardous journey from East Africa and the Horn of Africa to Europe along the Central Mediterranean Route, driven by factors such as conflict, climate crisis, persecution, economic hardship or shortage of opportunities in their home country. Children’s vulnerabilities and inadequate protection at high-risk points on the route such as border-crossings, leave them highly vulnerable to trafficking – which becomes increasingly likely as risk factors accumulate and compound on their journey.


Samuel Hall was commissioned by Save The Children to conduct research to understand how practitioners and policymakers can reduce the risk of child trafficking and exploitation. The research was conducted across the East Africa Central Mediterranean route, through Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt as part of Save the Children’s work on the East African Migration Routes project, mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC). Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Tunisia were among the top ten countries of origin of migrants reaching European shores in the first half of 2021. More than 200 individuals, including children, community members, practitioners and experts participated in the research.


The aim of the study is to support practitioners to develop more tailored risk prevention and protection interventions for child migrants at each stage of their journey and to influence the development of national and global policies that will strengthen the protection of child migrants in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and other transit and destination countries on the CMR.



Source: Save the Children