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Panama: UNICEF warns on increase in children as irregular migrants

Panama, May 31 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned in Panama about the increase in children as irregular migrants passing through the Darien jungle.

In a press release published by local media, including La Estrella de Panama, it was pointed out that in the first four months of this year, some 25,000 children crossed the jungle on their way to the United States, eight times more than in the same period of 2022.

These children and adolescents arrived on foot to the host communities and temporary reception stations in the Panamanian province of Darien, receive health care and food, UNICEF said.

It also stressed that the infants require life-saving interventions such as medical care, access to safe water, psycho-emotional recovery and protection services, especially those who suffered from violence or are traveling alone.

The institution also called on society and the State to work together to ensure that all minors in human mobility, regardless of their origin or migration status, can grow up in a safe environment.

Figures from the National Migration Service (SNM) show that so far in 2023 more than 157,000 people have crossed the dangerous Darien jungle, on the border between Panama and Colombia, from the south.

The figure higher than 109,293 who did so between 2010 and 2019, and nearly five times higher than 33,819 migrants during the first five months of 2022.


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