The uptick in the number of children fleeing to the United States has focused attention on the conditions in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In total, these nations have seen 62,998 kids flee to the United States and other neighboring countries. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, asylum applications in neighboring nations—namely, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize*—have risen 712 percent since 2009.
These children are fleeing violence, murder, extortion, rape, and abuse in some of the world’s most violent countries. Just imagine how bad conditions have to be for parents to send their children alone on a dangerous journey in search of safety. And as the violence has gotten worse, the number of child refugees has only increased. Let’s examine the conditions in these countries.