Africa has the world’s largest migrant population

Written by Staff Writer by Ben Wedeman, CNN Many have crossed in cars, in cars, trucks, foot; some on foot between 60 and 100 miles (96-161 kilometers) from the border, over treacherous terrain. “Nearly…

Africa has the world's largest migrant population

Written by Staff Writer by Ben Wedeman, CNN

Many have crossed in cars, in cars, trucks, foot; some on foot between 60 and 100 miles (96-161 kilometers) from the border, over treacherous terrain.

“Nearly 19,000 children have been rescued from the Darien Gap this year,” said Mani. “There are youngsters injured from exposure, from road accidents,” he told CNN. “Some have had to get medical attention. Many have been sent back to their countries of origin because they are not allowed to enter.”

This includes children with chronic conditions like diabetes and pneumonia, who have had to be rescued from their mothers in southern South America and rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.

“These children have to arrive at the border, where their parents are probably in the same situation,” said Mani. “They say ‘no problem, they’ll be safe, these are migratory migrants, they’ll just be waiting’. But they are no longer waiting.”

Taking the brunt of the crisis is India, which is home to many of the world’s largest groups of migrants, either through citizenship or through traditional migration patterns along the porous border. India also saw the highest number of apprehensions of unaccompanied minors.

“In India, because of poverty, for youth many are tempted to work overseas — they are lured by employer offers and many, many others come by bribing border guards to cross into neighbouring countries,” said Mani.

Of these, Mani said, India’s Hindu, Muslim and Christian minority groups tend to report larger amounts of immigration-related activities.

“Many children come by train,” he added. “There are two or three routes that children take. The stretch between Armenia and Agadez through the Aguilares Gap, are two routes. And then in the other route into Morocco, between Guizhou and Almeria, there are two. So those are two main routes.”

That in itself, at 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) long, has put children at risk.

“We have children traveling between Eastern Europe and Asia, for example,” said Mani. “Children are also entering through the Americas, right through this territory.”

Children are also regularly smuggled into the U.S. themselves.

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