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    Use of smugglers to travel

    Though few girls traveled alone, most were unaccompanied, traveling without relatives. Several girls said they traveled with adults that they did not know; at least two traveled with smugglers on trips paid for by their parents. This was the case of Patricia, 22, from the DRC. Her parents paid a woman from her community, introduced […] More

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    Border crossing and transport strategies

    While the findings are presented according to stages (pre-migration, in transit, post-transit), the journeys themselves were often much more complex and nonlinear. Girls’ migration experiences were heavily influenced by the modes of transport they used. Some girls interviewed made sections of their journeys on foot; for instance, walking with groups of other migrants across unknown […] More

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    Access to education

    Many boys and girls interviewed had not had any formal education or had dropped out of school. While for boys, schooling access was limited by a need to begin working to support their families, for girls it was most likely to be driven by social norms and adult family members’ low appreciation of girls’ schooling. […] More

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    Sexual and gender-based violence

    Escaping violence was one of the most cited motivations for migrating. Girls spoke of exposure to multiple forms of violence in their countries of origin. Female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, and intimate-partner violence were some of the most frequently mentioned. Key informants have also noted an increase in the migration of children with diverse […] More

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    Fleeing child marriage

    Over half of the West African girls interviewed in Spain noted escaping marriage as the primary – or sole – reason for leaving home. For 15-year-old Adrienne from Cote d’Ivoire, it was her brother’s initiative for her to fly to Morocco when her grandfather insisted on marrying her at age 12. For some older girls, […] More

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    The journey: risks, opportunities and coping responses

    This study found that many girls were unaware of the full extent of the risks and dangers involved in migration. This lack of information regarding risks is in line with existing research, including a 2017 study by UNICEF and REACH conducted with 850 refugee and migrant children in Italy and Greece, which found that less […] More

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