The conference in Djibouti brought together governments from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti, as well as UN agencies and EU delegations from the region, local civil society organisations, ambassadors and the chair of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of the African Union, Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur. Together with Save the Children, Terre des Hommes Netherlands was one of the few international child rights’ organisations present.
Focus on protection of child migrants
As child rights’ expert, in his keynote address Dr. Benyam spoke about the obligatory focus on the dignity and the rights and respect for children, no matter their status, when migrating. Discussions and exchanges on a variety of topics related to (cross-border) child migration in the Horn of Africa were held, including cross-border collaboration in the protection of the children, key research and data gaps, gender aspects and reintegration of returned child migrants. Trends in child migration and what these trends mean for prevention and response interventions were highlighted, as well as the importance of safeguarding the best interest of the child migrant.
Children On The Move
As a best practice, Terre des Hommes Netherlands shared its experience from its own Children On The Move programme in Ethiopia, specifically in those areas that are hotspots for child trafficking and migration to Sudan. Terre des Hommes Netherlands believes in the BMM’s advancement of a more comprehensive and integrated child protection approach and encourages the collaboration between the different actors and stakeholders involved. Our work in child trafficking and (unsafe) migration in Ethiopia and Uganda can facilitate cross border exchange of information with stakeholders at all levels.