Data on access to counsel and reintegration services for children and their impact on improving policies and protection for Central American unaccompanied children

By: Jennifer Podkul and Cory Shindel. Published by: Migration Policy Practice. Published in May 2018.

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The authors identify how attorneys play a critical role in identifying and addressing needs, promote court efficiency, and improve outcomes.

Highlights include:

  • “Unaccompanied children have significant protection needs not only in the United States but also in their countries of origin and transit. Too often, children flee severe violence and abuse in their home countries only to be returned to conditions that remain unchanged. Through case studies of 96 Central American migrant children and interviews with 78 government and civil society representatives, KIND, in partnership with Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center, has documented the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in Central America and its role in driving child migration from the region” (p. 28)
  • “Migration policy decisions, including those affecting children arriving alone in the United States, are being made with insufficient data to suggest their effectiveness or appropriateness in responding to the needs and motivations of children on the move” (p. 29)
  • “In the first five years of the project, the rate of remigration was 23 per cent. However, when children and families were offered services based in the communities in which they lived, rates of remigration dropped to below 5 per cent” (p. 29)


Categories: Children, Immigration, Law School Clinics, Legal Aid Attorneys, Legal Aid Practitioners, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Migrants/Immigrants, National, Policymakers and Funders, Pro Bono

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