The East Africa programme is centred around the most serious violations of the rights of the child which constitute the four main themes in our work: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children; Child Trafficking and Unsafe Migration; the Worst Forms of Child Labour; and Child Abuse / Violations of Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights.
More and more children in East Africa are getting involved in child prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. This growing trend is an issue of serious concern. Our programme focuses on urban slum areas, tourist destinations, around fishing and mining centres and along long distance truck routes. Apart from recovery and reintegration of survivors, other important aspects of our programme are the protection of vulnerable children to prevent them from sexual exploitation as well as proper prosecution of perpetrators.
Child trafficking and unsafe migration
Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are all source, transit and destination countries for children on the move. Children are predominantly trafficked for domestic servitude, other forms of forced labour as well as for prostitution. Migrating children are at great risk when their decision to move is stimulated by false promises, and when they are on their own while migrating. Our programme intercepts and rehabilitates child victims of trafficking and unsafe migration, protects vulnerable children in close cooperation with their families and communities, and works with law enforcers to successfully prosecute child traffickers.
Worst forms of child labour
Thousands of child domestic workers are hidden within households, working hard and long, for little or no pay, living in abusive situations, without regular contact with their families. Thousands of other children are forced to work in mines, performing exhausting work for many hours in a row, in unhealthy and hazardous conditions. Our programme is committed to the numerous children who face the worst forms of child labour, particularly in the informal artisanal mining sector and in households in Tanzania and Uganda. We empower exploited children through withdrawal and education, strengthen local child protection systems and lobby government for budget allocation and proper implementation of the labour laws.
Child abuse and violations of Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR)
The fourth theme of our programme encompasses a series of issues - child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), teenage pregnancies, sexual violence and alternative care - specifically focusing on Tanzania and Uganda because of the high prevalence in these countries.
In an integrated response, we focus on protection and prevention of (potential) victims through empowerment, providing them with educational opportunities and where applicable with economic support. Furthermore, we strengthen the local child protection systems, lobby governments for implementation and improvement of the legal framework, and promote legal literacy.
Programme in East Africa
To implement our programmes, Terre des Hommes Netherlands has initiated nineteen partnerships with local civil society organisations. The formal handover of the partner contracts concluded a two day workshop in which the foundation was laid for a strong cooperation between Terre des Hommes Netherlands and her civil society partners.