By Abbas Jimoh
Stakeholders in Abuja urged the Federal Government to pay special attention to the wellbeing of migrant children affected across the country especially those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
They made the call yesterday in Abuja at two-day Capacity Building Training Workshop on Migrants Children in Emergencies organised by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Person (NCFRMI) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
The event tagged “Migrant Children in Emergencies” is aims at raising awareness and at integrating crisis-specific considerations into national child protection systems and is part of the project “Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC): Supporting an Evidence-based Approach for Effective and Cooperative State Action”, funded by European Union (EU) and implemented by ICMPD.
The Federal Commissioner of the NCFRMI Sadiya Umar Farouk said that the displacement of persons in the North-East, North-Central, and the huge influx of refugees in the South-South parts of the country call for more experience and skilled response in the provision of protection assistance to the Persons of Concern (POCs) and vulnerable groups, consisting of children.
“The existing framework of the National Migration Policy acknowledges that migrant children have very special needs, health care, education, shelter and protection from abuse, among others and the need to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that migrant children are guaranteed the same rights to education, health care, shelter as other children in Nigeria are entitled to,” Farouk represented by the Director, Refugees and Migrants Affairs, Ambassador Lawal Hamidu said.
The ICMPD Project Officer Ms. Daniela Blecha, said the organisation has 15 member countries mostly of the Eastern Europe but that they work across the world where their services are needed.
She said the organisation is working in five West African countries of Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo having child protection structures to avoid complications.
Also, an Independent Expert Migration, Mr. Emeka Christian Obiezu, said the 2017 UNICEF report that 3900 children were killed in the North-East due to the combined actions of Boko Haram insurgent and security factors cannot be waived aside and should be acted upon.