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Foundation urges governments to build standard correctional facilities for vulnerable children



The organisation’s Advocacy and Communications Officer, Mr Olakunle Peter, made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Lagos.

“Corruption in government has robbed children of the finance necessary for the implementation of the rights of the child.

“Sexual harassment and abandonment of children are still rampant exposing them to physical and moral insecurity.

“The right to education appears to be replaced by exploitative child labour in some parts of the country,” he told NAN lamenting that many parents still abandoned their responsibilities toward their children in spite of the laws.

“There is need for more political will and economic power on the part of the government to implement these laws in the interest of the Nigerian child.”

“We must combat trafficking but not all children who are on the move are trafficked.

“The responsibility lies on actors to be able to differentiate a case of child mobility from a case of child trafficking and react accordingly.

“They also do not have enough shelters to accommodate the high number of children and youth within that category.

“We are working hard to improve our collaborations and the primary idea behind is for sustainability,” he said.

Peter said that after two years, 49,636 people had been informed and sensitised on the risks associated with early and dangerous migration by the Terre des Hommes Foundation.

He noted that people were sensitised on the conditions for safe and secure migration by CORAL project of the organisation in five countries, including  Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“Two thousand, six hundred and twenty-three migrant children, comprising 1,318 boys and 1,305 girls) have been integrated or reintegrated into their communities of origin by the project in collaboration with community and institutional actors supported by the project.

“The project has registered in the five countries a total of 22,014 children affected by mobility, 11,161 boys and 10,853 girls.

“The total amount to be spent on the project for the next three years is 2,211,469 million Euros for 25 locations in the five countries,” he said.

Peter said the general objectives of the project for the protection of migrant children along Abidjan-Lagos Corridor was to improve the protection of migrant children in West Africa.

“This is with the aim of reducing their vulnerability and improving their access to development opportunities.

“The project collaborates with the Association of Working Children and Youths (AWCY). This association exist in all the locations of the project.

“AWCY is a movement of volunteer working children and youths that work to improve their members knowledge on child rights through capacity building and help them to access their rights.

“We also collaborate with journalists, diaspora associations, embassies in Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), state Ministries of Women Affaires, Ministries of Youths and Social Development and so on,” he said.

Peter said that some of the organisation’s major challenges includes insufficient funds, lack of shelter and homes to accommodate migrant children, lack of means of identification and difficulties in tracing families.

NAN reports that Terre des hommes is a child relief non-governmental organisation with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and present in over 30 countries of the world, including Nigeria.

They support children in areas of child and maternal health, protection, water and sanitation and migration.