PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – A substantial hike in children crossing the Darien jungle – linking Panama with Colombia – is expected this year, the United Nations said on Friday, amid a surge in migrants making the dangerous journey to reach the United States.
By the end of 2023, more than 300,000 migrants are set to have crossed the jungle, over 60,000 of which could be minors, said Diana Romero, an emergency protection specialist at the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF).
“At least 20% (of people using the route) will be children and adolescents,” Romero told Reuters, asking families to review the decision due to the perils of such journey.
That would put the flow of minors passing through the Darien up if compared to the 40,438 who entered the country in 2022, according to official data.
In January this year, over 4,800 children and adolescents are recorded to have used the route, seven times more than the…