Protecting Migrant Children
Show Less

Protecting Migrant Children

In Search of Best Practice

Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson

Unprecedented numbers of children are crossing international borders seeking safety. Framed around compelling case studies explaining why children are on the move in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania, this book explores the jurisprudence and processes used by nations to adjudicate children’s protection claims. The book includes contributions from leading scholars in immigration, refugee law, children’s rights and human trafficking which critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic laws with the aim of identifying best practice for migrant children.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 22: Nowhere to turn: the protection needs of children defecting from criminal gangs

Farrin R. Anello


This chapter focuses on a rare and complex situation: that of a child who flees a gang after having been actively involved in gang activities. Such a child falls into what researcher Thomas Boerman calls the ‘Trap of Gang Membership’. Gang leaders view renouncing gang membership as betrayal, and defectors from their ranks face imminent torture and murder. Conversely, having been marked (often tattooed) as a gang member, defectors cannot reintegrate into society in their countries of origin, and continue to be targeted for death by rival gangs and police. Like former child soldiers in more traditional armed conflicts, formerly gang-involved children are frequently survivors of extreme violence and trauma. Adolescents, moreover, share a particular susceptibility both to coercion and risk-taking, making them prime recruitment targets for both gang leaders and military leaders. On the other hand, young people also show a particular capacity for change and rehabilitation. Even in extreme cases, governments can both protect children and provide them with the support structures needed to become peaceful and contributing members of their communities.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.