Children on the Run Experience

Experience what life is like for children on the run.

Photo: © UNHCR/Antwan Chnkdji

Please note that this experience is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have the Children on the Run experience fully operational soon. In the meantime, please view our other resources.


In this interactive digital experience, you will meet Luis and Clara, two children on the run. Follow their journey as they flee gang violence in search of safety and security. How will you react to the tough decisions refugee children are forced to make every day?

As crime and violence have increased dramatically in Mexico and Central America in recent years, UNHCR has tracked a notable increase in the number of asylum-seekers—both children and adults—particularly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala lodging claims in the region. While the United States is receiving the majority of the new asylum claims, UNHCR has documented a 1,185% increase in the number of asylum applications from citizens of these three countries in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize, combined, from 2008 to 2014.

Among these numbers is a troubling new trend. The number of children from these countries, making the treacherous journey alone and unaccompanied, has doubled each year since 2011, and the U.S. government estimated—and is on track to reach—60,000 children arriving to U.S. soil seeking safe haven in this fiscal year. While the number of children from Mexico has far outpaced the number of children from any one of the three Central American countries, most of these children are promptly returned to Mexico after no more than a day or two in the custody of the US authorities making it even more difficult to obtain a full picture of who these children are and why they are coming to the U.S. Learn more on the Global site.

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