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24.06.2018 - News

The trauma caused by migration

In 2017 fifty million children around the world fled war, violence, poverty or insecurity. Uprooted through no fault of their own, these children experience migration or displacement as a trauma which has a particular impact on five aspects of their lives.

  • The feeling of safety and security: far from home, finding themselves in stressful situations and having lost their bearings, this fundamental need - so vital for a child’s development - is compromised.
  • Relationships and environment: migration often weakens the links a child has with their family and community. They can no longer go to school, have nowhere to play and often suffer from isolation.
  • Adherence to their rights: badly informed or unable to speak the local language, child migrants are unaware of their rights and do not know who to turn to for help.
  • Their identity and their respective roles: children have to take on more responsibility at an early age, such as working to support their families.
  • Future prospects: faced with financial difficulties and the problems of integration, displaced children often have to give up on their dreams and ambitions.


Our child protection experts work with the children, their families and communities in order to minimize the psychological and social consequences of migration. They provide them with a protective environment and teach them key skills, thus enhancing their future prospects.

West Africa

Our hope spots provide a protective environment for migrant children all along the route between the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Using psychosocial activities our teams are able to improve certain skills. Board games, for instance, enable them to work on their emotions, whereas artistic and creative activities such as dance, singing or percussion increase their self-esteem.  


In order to support and protect the most vulnerable children in Jordan affected by the Syrian crisis, our teams are bringing back something that should be fundamental in their lives: playing. Building games, theatre and stories created by the children and for the children are used to bring laughter back into their lives whilst helping them imagine a different reality. We give them back the hope that the situation in Syria has stolen from them.


Tdh is launching a pilot project You Create in order to improve wellbeing, resilience and social cohesion among children who have been displaced by the conflict in Iraq. Out teams train and mentor teenagers and children so that they themselves can create and organise artistic activities for their peers. Craft activities, gardening, sculpture, writing or creating a blog are just some of the activities which help protect and encourage participation and self-reliance for 2000 teenagers and adults.


In Albania we use theatre to support child migrants who are returning to their country and to prevent dangerous migration. Our specialists are able to help the children to express their feelings, share their experiences and manage their emotions positively. More than 500 children and teenagers take part in these activities on a regular basis at schools and community centres in partnership with the local authorities.