The Edo State Government on Tuesday hosted the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to a two-day capacity building workshop for stakeholders in the state, involved in migration management.
Explaining the rationale for the workshop, entitled “Capacity Building Training on Migrant Children in Emergencies,” Project Officer, ICMPD, Ms. Daniela Blecha, noted that the African continent has the largest share of children among its migrant population.
She said migrant children, unlike adult migrants, were more vulnerable and have specific needs, noting that the workshop was conceived to create awareness and build capacity of stakeholders in Edo, on how to attend to their needs.
“Children have specific needs and during crisis they are more vulnerable than adults. Their educational need should be met in such situations so that their future will not be truncated. Provisions need to be made to re-unite these children with their parents as well as provision for who will make decisions for them as they are separated from their parents.”
Blecha explained that the workshop was put together to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and skills for managing crises and emergencies in the country.
Chairman, Edo Task Force Against Human Trafficking, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said the state government shared her experience in tackling irregular migration and her agency’s efforts at reintegrating migrants including their children into the society.
She maintained that the Edo State government was working on securing more collaborations in managing human trafficking and irregular migration while commending the ICMPD and NCFRMI for the capacity building for stakeholders in the state.
“We know we need collaboration to eradicate human trafficking and take care of returnees. We need more temporary shelters for returnees in the state so that we can look after them before they are reintegrated with their families.”
She urged participants at the workshop to seize the opportunity to interact and gain more knowledge on better ways of managing migrants.
Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Sadiya Umar Farouk, said the workshop was organised under the Migrants in Countries in Crises (MCIC) project, funded by the European Union.
Farouk, who was represented by Mr Charles Anaelo, Assistant Director in the commission, said the training was aimed at improving the protection of migrant children in times of emergencies.
Farouk emphasised that there was need for collaboration amongst relevant stakeholders to ensure that migrant children were guaranteed the same right to education, health care and shelter as other children in the country.