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A matter of survival: why unaccompanied children leave the northern triangle of Central America

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posted on 22.05.2021, 17:04 by Lidia-Gabriela Jarmasz
This MRP applies a grounded theory approach to a scoping review of a range of sources examining the factors driving the migration of unaccompanied children from the Northern Triangle of Central America. Four principal drivers are identified in the literature; of these, two represent push factors in the country of origin: violence and dismal economic conditions; the other two—family reunification and a perception of ease of entry into the destination country— can be construed as pull factors. I argue that the push factors are the main cause of the migration of unaccompanied children, while the pull factors represent enabling factors that facilitate this migration. Further, I also contend that, for this migration flow, violence and economic factors form a vicious cycle and therefore cannot easily be teased apart. This case therefore challenges traditional models of migration that assume a dichotomy between voluntary and forced migration. Key words: unaccompanied child migrants; Northern Triangle of Central America; drivers of migration; survival migration; push and pull factors





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type