West Africa is a region characterized by a considerable population mobility, both within countries and transnational, most especially of children. Many of them leave their home villages for the big cities or even neighbouring countries, seeking better economic prospects for themselves and their families. Local Governments tend to look at child migration just as a form of trafficking, therefore they do not offer migrant children a more comprehensive protection system all along their way. Therefore, Terre des Hommes Foundation Lausanne has decided to tackle the problem by launching a regional project in 2008 whose aim is to offer migrant children a better protection. The project is being implemented, through local and strategic partnerships, in five countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Togo. While mobilizing Governments, civil society, local communities and public opinion, Terre des Hommes and its partners will develop a protection system for migrant children, which will protect them all along their way, from their point of departure to their return back home, fighting against exploitation, trafficking and abuse.
The Projects aims to :
- support 11 thousand children, supplying them with shelter and psychological, medical, educational and legal counselling;
- fund 30 protection projects at community level benefiting from 3000 to 6000 children;
- to train and sensitize journalists, government representatives, social workers and police staff on child mobility and protection.
- involve the responsible ministries of the targeted countries’ Governments to include child mobility as a priority in national policies.
Regional group for child protection
For around 10 years, Terre des Hommes is a member of this regional group gathering different agencies working in this field of action (UN agencies, international organisations, NGOs). This group met on July 16 a workshop in Dakar was part of a larger three-day meeting organized by two regional autorithies : GRPE and CEDEAO with the aim to discuss issues of child protection in the sub-region and identify areas of collaboration. The launching workshop was attended by about 40 people, consisting of representatives of organizations of Child Protection, CEDEAO, state structures, UN agencies and the media from six countries. During the meeting, the authorities showed their interest to work with TDH and the other members of the platform in broadcasting the main principles and tools present in our publications to State agencies.
- “Which protection for children involved in mobility in West Africa”
- “La valeur ajoutée de l’accompagnement protecteur des enfants” (The added value of protective accompaniment of children) – based on the participation of the child in its own protection. With a focus on labor migration which is one of the main cause of children mobility in West Africa.
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