THE international Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says 300,000 children migrated alone in 2017.
The Federation stated this in a 2018 publication entitled “Alone and Unsafe: Children, Migration, Sexual Gender-based Violence’’.
It noted that this was five times more than the 2012 figure, adding that the figure was likely to be much higher now.
It stated that many unaccompanied adolescent girls from Nigeria travelled through Niger and depended on local brothels to get money they needed to continue their journey to Europe.
“In Agadez, women and girls in the brothels typically earn around three dollars per client, much of which goes to local madams, in exchange for room and board during the weeks or months they stay in the desert city.
“Children on the move are easy prey for abusers, exploiters and traffickers and their vulnerability puts them at high risk of sexual and gender-based violence at every stage of their migratory path.
“When children are in transit alone, they are at very high risk of being assaulted, sexually abused, raped, trafficked into sexual exploitation or forced into “survival sex’’.
The Federation stated that 80 per cent of children who arrived in Greece, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria following dangerous and life-threatening journeys, were unaccompanied, or separated in 2017.
It noted that the figure nearly double the figure reported in 2016.
In the foreword to the publication, the President of IFRC, Mr Francesco Rocca, therefore, enjoined governments adopting the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) to ensure that their policies and practices were in the best interests of vulnerable child migrants.
“The world is failing these children, who are being exposed to unthinkable deprivation and abuse, including the horrors of sexual and gender-based violence in their countries of origin, transit and destination.
“We must demand of ourselves and our governments that every unaccompanied and separated migrant child is given the same protection and care that every child in the world needs and has a right to.’’
Rocca expressed the commitment and support of IFRC to world governments in addressing the global migration challenge.
The publication urged governments to invest in quality protection and assistance services for migrant children and ensure appropriate training for government personnel engaged in border services and reception centres.
It also tasked governments to ensure clear information about available services and legal rights for all migrants, particularly for children and eliminate detention of children solely for reasons related to their migration status.
– Dec. 11, 2018 @ 16:29 GMT |