By Oluwakemi Oladipo
Lagos – Terre des Hommes Foundation says it has launched a Television series called “The Child Migrant” to protect the rights of the migrant children.
Mrs Peju Osoba, Head of the foundation’s Country Office in Nigeria, made this known at the launch of the series on Wednesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is in collaborated with the Youth Action and the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (MAWCY) and funded by the European Union (EU).
The project being implemented in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, began in 2017 and would end in 2020.
Osoba said that the programme was to also sensitise the public on the negative effect of children migration.
According to her, it will pass on messages to viewers on ways to support and reduce the vulnerability of migrant children and improve their access to development opportunities.
“The idea is to reach out to everybody through the Television series, because information about our other projects have been going on in different ways.
“We feel this TV series will go to places we cannot reach, and this will really pass on a lot of messages and information to people on migrant children.
“The TV series is already on YouTube channels, which means people in different places can have access to the series.
“It will also enlighten the public on various reasons why children move and advocate for the importance of listening before treating cases of migrant children,” she said.
Osoba said that there was urgent need to protect the rights of children, because more than 90 per cent of movements by West African children and young people took place within the region.
She decried that most young Nigerians who migrated to other countries mostly engage in hard labour, hence the need to device ways of curbing the menace.
“The reality is that during their migratory routes from their point of origin, transit or destination, they are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, coercion, trafficking, violence, delinquency and violent extremism.
“They are exposed to hard labour, deprivation, segregation and lack of access to basic social services in their host environment.
“Many of them cannot read nor write, they have no access to education and their fundamental rights are being violated on a daily basis,” she said.
Also, Mr Olakunle Peter, Advocacy and Communications Officer of the foundation, said that the television series was introduced to show various dimensions to children migration.
Peter said that it was also developed to showcase the causes, effects on the child, the dangers it present for the future of the affected children and the possible ways to assist them.
Mrs Margaret Ukegbu, the South-West, Zonal Director, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, said that the TV series would go a long way in highlighting the problems of child migrant issues.
“Our commission is also very passionate about migration and refugees issues, because we have integral role in ensuring that migration and migratory issues are well addressed.
“So, there is need for intense sensitisation and information dissemination on better ways to address the menace in our country,” she said. (NAN)