Difficult living conditions mean that many children leave their hometowns and villages in the hope of finding a better life elsewhere. But migration poses multiple threats, including exploitation and violence. Together with communities and key actors, Terre des hommes protects migrating youth. We work with host families and empower children to protect themselves.

What we do

Migrant children

Thanks to a network spanning five countries, our social workers are able to protect children against exploitation when they leave their hometown or village. As soon as they start their journey, children know exactly where they can find help. They will get food, receive shelter, useful information, care and protection. If they have been subject to violence, they will be given immediate support.

Child protection

We work to ensure that children at risk of exploitation are able to access education, health services, and are kept safe. Our teams provide solutions such as accompanying them to school, supporting them with professional training, arranging for foster care and organising social and psychological activities. Trainings and discussions are arranged to raise awareness among local communities around the identification and support of at-risk children. We also conduct advocacy work with local authorities. A new child protection code – drafted with the help of Tdh – was adopted by the government.

Specialised care

As part of our specialised care programme, we organise surgical missions to Benin in partnership with Swiss hospitals. The aim is to provide free consultations and surgical care for children from poor families. Local doctors are taught new techniques and midwives are trained to provide psychological care to children. We also arrange for the transfer of children to Europe when they cannot be operated on in their own country. The opening of a paediatric surgery unit has helped decrease the number of transfers necessary as specialised care can now be provided locally.

Landry, a young man from Benin, worked in one of Nigeria's quarries before being arrested by immigration officers. He was immediately handed over to Tdh's team in Abeokuta.

Landry, a former quarry worker


Terre des hommes in Benin

Beneficiaries 2016


154,510 people

Expatriate / local employees


1 / 26

Budget 2017


CHF 512,000.-

Where we work

Supported by


Start of Terre des hommes’ work in Benin.
Creation of a temporary reception centre for children suffering from exploitation, trafficking and abuse.
Opening of a departmental hospital unit to care for premature infants and children suffering from malnutrition and illness.
Inauguration of a new paediatric surgery unit.

Latest news

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Making an impact for children: Annual Report 2017
Specialised care programme - Annual Report 2017
Thematic policy - Mother and child health
Courage No. 50 - Journey towards life
Project for the Protection of Migrant Children Along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor

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