Protecting Children on the Move in West Africa
In West Africa, more and more children are migrating to escape poverty. More than 75% of them stay in the region and move to cities where they have more opportunities for development, as well as to agricultural or production sites such as gold mines or cocoa plantations. Although migration can create labour opportunities, it also puts children at risk of exploitation, abuse and trafficking. In partnership with Save the Children, we provide protection for children and young people along their migration routes.
Protecting children in migration where they are
The objective of the regional project that Terre des hommes is running in Guinea is to better protect children and young people on the move along their itinerary.
To this end, our teams improve the access of children and young people to institutional and community protection services such as social workers and adapted assistance through the implementation of protective support systems. While on the move, children can access basic services in our protected spaces. Thanks to our mobile teams that are present in transit zones where social workers are not, we can give them information about the risks they might encounter and on the support services available along the way. We train community actors on how to animate and manage these spaces and how to understand the needs of children in migration with a specific focus on gender and diversity. We also select and train foster families and reception centre staff to provide temporary accommodation in line with international child protection standards.
We build the capacity of key child protection actors on the specific needs and vulnerabilities of children and young people in migration.
Advocacy for a protection network
On a larger scale, we are working to promote the integration of child protection into migration policy and national and regional legislation. Our specialists train protection professionals to provide technical assistance in this area to the authorities. We create a network between community and institutional actors for better coordination of child protection mechanisms.
The PROTEJEM project "Improving the protection of migrant children and young people on the main migration routes in West Africa" is financed by the European Union through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented in Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Senegal and Guinea from 2020 to 2023. We target nearly 30,000 children and young people who move both within national borders and internationally, with their families or alone, along the main migration routes in West Africa..