Terre des Hommes International Federation report: Protecting child migrants

Terre des Hommes International Federation has released a study on unaccompanied children, now available at the childtrafficking.com digital library. From the tdh listserv:

“Children who leave home and migrate, either within their own country or to another country, are entitled to far better efforts to protect them from abuse and exploitation, says the Terre des Hommes International Federation…

“In a new report, Kids Abroad, Terres des Hommes reviews a wide range of initiatives to support children who leave home without being accompanied by any other family member, discussing the situation in Western and South Eastern Europe and also in West Africa, Central America, South Asia and South East Asia…

“As a matter of public policy, most governments encourage children to attend school and to remain there, at least until they complete their primary education. However, millions do not do so and set out to seek their fortune while still adolescents or even before reaching puberty. While public policy may not want to approve or encourage their actions, thousands of NGOs around the world are engaged in efforts to protect and assist such children, particularly when they are far from home and vulnerable to abuse because they are cut off from the families or home communities who could help protect them.

“Recommendations include:

  •  More investment is required to develop techniques for protecting children who are actually in transit, moving from one place to another in search of a better future.
  • Better and more imaginative use could be made of communications and information technology to protect children on the move, notably by ensuring they can stay in contact with others while travelling and after reaching their destination.
  •  Not enough attention has been given to understanding indigenous practices which have the effect of protecting children from harm and which can be strengthened at relatively little cost”.