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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Refugee children on the rise-Dailytrust


The United Nations Children’s Fund has documented the harrowing tales of at least three Nigerian girls trafficked across borders.
The report ‘A Child is a Child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation’ includes the story of Nigerian girl Mary, 17, who was raped by her benefactor turned trafficker.
“He said to me if I didn’t sleep with him he would not bring me to Europe. He raped me,” Mary said.
The stories of Mary, Cynthia and Glory are documented here.
The report notes the number of refugee and migrant children moving alone has increased fivefold since 2010.
At least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children were recorded in some 80 countries in the combined years of 2015 and 2016, up from 66,000 in 2010 and 2011, the Fund said.
“One child moving alone is one too many, and yet today, there are a staggering number of children doing just that – we as adults are failing to protect them,” said UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth.
“Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution. It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators.”
Mary experienced the trauma of being trafficked firsthand through Libya to Italy.
Her smuggler offered to help her through the journey.
“Everything (he) said, that we would be treated well, and that we would be safe, it was all wrong. It was a lie.”
Mary was trapped in Libya for more than three months where she was abused.
The report also found up to 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across around 80 countries in 2015-2016.
At least 100,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2015-2016.
Another 170,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe in 2015-2016.
In all, unaccompanied and separated children accounted for 92% of all children arriving to Italy by sea in 2016 and the first months of 2017.
Nearly every three in 10 victim of trafficking globally is a child.
At least 64% of all trafficked children originated from sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Central America and the Caribbean.
And as much as two in 10 smugglers have links to human trafficking networks, the report found.
The report, coming ahead of the G7 Summit in Italy, calls on governments to take action to protect refugee and migrant children and ensure their wellbeing.
“These children need a real commitment from governments around the world to ensure their safety throughout their journeys,” said Forsyth.
“Leaders gathering next week at the G7 should lead this effort by being the first to commit to our six-point agenda for action.”
The six-point agenda UNICEF has drawn up includes:
·        Protecting child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, from exploitation and violence;
·        Ending the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating, by introducing a range of practical alternatives;
·        Keeping families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status;
·        Keeping all refugee and migrant children learning and give them access to health and other quality services;
·        Pressing for action on the underlying causes of large scale movements of refugees and migrants;
·        Promoting measures to combat xenophobia, discrimination and marginalization in countries of transit and destination.

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