Emergency Appeal: Protecting Migrant Children

March 3, 2023

Appeal code: 6306


On February 25, 2023, The New York Times published an exposé style report detailing the exploitation and abuse of migrant children across the United States. The report found that hundreds of immigrant children–many of whom are unaccompanied–are working in unsafe and unlawful conditions in at least 20 states across the United States. Over a dozen major companies were found to be using child labor. 

The neglect and abuse described in the report illustrates failures across multiple systems that are charged to protect child arrivals, and children in general. 

Children arriving in the United States alone often seek employment opportunities so that they can earn money to support themselves and their families, who likely remain in danger or face other dire situations. It is critical that these children are provided with education and support so that they can heal from past trauma, continue to attend school, and pursue safe and healthy work opportunities that are appropriate for minors.

These children, and all children, deserve protection and a safe home where they can grow and thrive.

CWS Response

Across the U.S. CWS serves unaccompanied children who made the harrowing journey to safety alone. After fleeing violence, persecution and desperation, many children are reunited with families (sometimes distant relatives), who may also struggle to support themselves. CWS provides each child we serve with the care and support they deserve including access to education, medical and mental healthcare, legal services, and other services.

By offering more child-centered, trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically competent case management services, we can ensure that each child has a safe and stable home placement where they can learn, grow and thrive. Through your support, we can provide this support to more children and their families to ensure they are free from abuse and exploitation. 

Moreover, by extending basic social services to the relatives of the impacted children, we are more likely to create a safe, stable and loving environment.

With financial support CWS can rapidly expand the number of children we serve through our network across the United States, coming alongside migrant youth with robust comprehensive services including:

  • Longer-term and more intensive one-on-one support and accompaniment to each child 
  • Legal services to support children to navigate the complex U.S. immigration system
  • Mental health care and psychosocial services to support children’s holistic health
  • Access to education, English as a Second Language, and vocational training opportunities
  • Wraparound social services for families and sponsors to ensure children have a secure, healthy home and circle of support
  • Assistance and mentorship to teenagers as they prepare to become adults

Appeal Target

$1.2 Million to provide access to education, legal services and mental health and psychosocial support to 1,000 children.

  • $600,000 towards helping children access educational opportunities and legal services 
  • $400,000 towards helping children access mental health and psychosocial support
  • $200,000 towards supporting the basic needs of children’s households

How to Help

Click here to donate online. Donations can also be made by mailing a check to Church World Service, PO Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Please designate “Appeal code 6306: Protecting Migrant Children.”

We will continue to offer updates as this situation evolves. Follow CWS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest information.