On the run from violence and natural disasters or trying to escape exploitation or poverty: all over the world, countless children leave home and hearth behind hoping to find a better existence somewhere else. These children often travel alone, making them even more vulnerable to exploitation. Terre des Hommes Netherlands is participating in the international Destination Unknown campaign to better protect children on the move. In addition, Terre des Hommes Netherlands provides support to migrant children.
Worldwide, millions of children are displaced. They are fleeing poverty, violence or natural disasters. Their destination is unknown. They are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. We must take action to protect these children.
In order to ensure that families are aware of the risks that migrating children face, both during their journey and at their destination, Terre des Hommes Netherlands organises awareness activities in Asia. This is done in countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia - source countries from which hundreds of thousands of children have migrated to Thailand - and in migrant communities in Thailand. Terre des Hommes Netherlands also helps in improving the income of families, to decrease the need to find a better job or life elsewhere. Migrant children who are exploited, get medical and legal assistance. Where possible and desirable, Terre des Hommes Netherlands helps these children to return to their place or country of origin, or make a new make safe start in Thailand.
In Europe, Terre des Hommes Netherlands lobbies for better protection of refugee and migrant children, together with other organisations. They call upon the European Council to ensure that these children get access to education, are not being detained and will always be accommodated together with their parents. Terre des Hommes Netherlands provides refugee children in places such as Sicily with psychosocial and legal support.
In Ethiopia, Terre des Hommes Netherlands focuses on the so-called North-Western corridor, the main route in Amhara Region for both domestic migration and international migration, to neighbouring Sudan and beyond. Together with the local authorities and child protection structures, we identify and intercept children who are victims of child trafficking or who are at great risk due to unsafe migration. We protect these children and reunify them with their families. To reduce the incentive to move away from their homes, we concentrate on improving access to and quality of education as well as on developing the livelihood of their families, in the source areas where most child migrants hail from.