Disaggregating migration data by age is essential for analyzing age dynamics of migrant populations. For child migrants, data disaggregated by age, gender and information on whether children are accompanied by a parent, family member, guardian, sponsor, or not, are particularly important to determine potential levels of vulnerability and protection needs during transit and on arrival. Child migrants are at risk of abuse, trafficking and exploitation, especially if they travel alone and through irregular migration pathways. There are several types of data sources that disaggregate migrant stocks and flows by age, although none can offer precise numbers or a full global picture.
Data related to the scale of human trafficking and the profile of victims and perpetrators are needed for evidence-based counter-trafficking policies. The increasing significance of human trafficking is illustrated by its inclusion in the targets of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global development agenda endorsed by 193 UN Member states. Human trafficking is directly mentioned in various SDG targets, raising the needs for developing relevant data sources, improving existing sources, and measuring the indicators and progress towards targets related to human trafficking.
The motives and consequences of human mobility are shaped by various factors such as customary rules based on gender expectations, ethnicity, race, age and class. Among these, it can be argued that gender has the biggest impact on the migration experiences of men, women, boys, girls and persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). Thus, including gender considerations in policymaking and planning can contribute to individuals’ social and economic empowerment and promote gender equality; leaving such considerations out can expose them to further risks and vulnerabilities and perpetuate or exacerbate inequalities. The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants calls for more migration data to be disaggregated by sex and age. It acknowledges that sex-disaggregated data allow for the identification and analysis of specific vulnerabilities and capacities of women and men, revealing gaps and inequalities. These data also enable the analysis of how gender norms might influence the experiences of women and men in migration processes, and in turn how their experiences might change gender norms. While it is important to consider the experiences of women and girls, which have sometimes been overlooked, it is equally important to also consider the experiences of men, boys and LGBTI persons, who are also exposed to forms of gender-based violence or vulnerabilities during different migration processes.