According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on gender and migration, in 2020 there were 35.5 million minors who already lived outside their territory of birth as migrants or refugees.
To that figure must be added 23.3 million children in a situation of internal displacement, the report details.
The total number increased by almost 10 million more than in 2015, when the Uprooted Children report was published.
According to the recent UNICEF study, some migration routes are particularly gender-biased, for example, in 2020 nine out of 10 unaccompanied infants seeking asylum in Europe were male and two out of three came from Afghanistan.
That Central Asian country leads the list of the 10 states with the highest number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Europe, underlines the UN body.
One of the main reasons that push boys to move is to assume the role of breadwinner, while girls may emigrate as a strategy to delay early marriage or for reasons of conflict-related sexual violence.
Among detected trafficking victims, girls outnumber boys four to three.
They are also more likely to be victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, while they are victims of forced labor.
The UNICEF report highlights how existing gender gaps in education are further exacerbated in humanitarian contexts: displaced girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys.