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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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    Socially-based information sharing, communication, and journey planning

    Family and friends were a major source of information; many children had family, friends, and neighbors both at home and abroad who provided information and help. Ivorian teenager Amara, a 17-year-old girl interviewed in Gran Canaria, said: “I heard my friends talk about Morocco, about Spain. That’s why I told my grandmother I wanted to […] 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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    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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    Fleeing war and violent conflict

    Many girls, as well as boys, described fleeing war and conflict as prompting their migration, as the situation in their country became too unstable and dangerous. These migratory decisions were often precipitated by a sudden and traumatic act of violence, such as the death of a close family member, and the decision to leave made […] More

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