Media Expert, NGO Task African Journalists On Dangers Of Border Crossing For Child Migrants - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Media Expert, NGO Task African Journalists On Dangers Of Border Crossing For Child Migrants

Funke Fadugba 
Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji
ABEOKUTA - As the world celebrate International Migrants Day, African journalists have been charged to adopt preemptive approach by becoming direct intervening factor in migration flows and provide narratives of danger and tragic failure with regard to border crossings to Migrants. 

A former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Mrs. Funke Fadugba made the call on Thursday in Abeokuta at a symposium to commemorate the 2019 International Migrants Day organized by Terre Des Hommes Foundation Lausanne -Nigeria. 

The veteran journalist explained that, media practitioners should promote the implementation of planned and manage migration policies under the SDGs 10 to reduce inequality among children migrants. 

She added that, it is important for government to also scrutinise policies on factors affecting child migrants. 

She maintained that, journalists should serve as a link between the children and their homes as there is high level of moral decadence in most African homes. 

Speaking on the topic, "Journalists as Child Protection Actors: The Case of Migrants Children", Fadugba enjoined government to invest in protection of migrant children, adding that the media has in their best helped the country until this present time towards reporting of children migrant.

"There are some children from good homes but are not good children, which is due to factors they are engaged with probably, bad groups, secret cults and others.

"The significant role of media is to bring to the fore the challenges these children are facing in their homes because moral has collapsed in our homes and that is why many of these children are on the move because they cannot bear the hardship. 

"It is our duty in protecting children particularly migrants to scrutinize if as a country has a well articulated and managed migration policy. How do we help to promote the implementation of planned and well managed migration policies which is under the SDGs 10 to reduce inequality.

"Journalists as child protection actors should improve their capacities to generate and bring to public domain meaningful reports on migration particularly in the context of the SDGs.
Mrs. Olapeju Osoba, TDH Country Head
"How can we explore the unique cases, I mean exceptional cases of child migrants to facilitate, promote development and improve opportunities for all. Journalists need see children migration as not mere rhetoric but a more visible phenomenon.

"Highlight their trauma as imposed by the pathway through which they are taken as this could leave permanent scars and negative memory."

She however, advocated for cooperation between migrant agencies and media houses, for the purpose of dissemination of information about migrant children. 

In her opening remarks, the Country Head, Terres Des Hommes (TDH) Nigeria, Mrs. Olapeju Osoba, while speaking on protection of child migrants, stated that the agency is giving more protection to children who are trafficked and not ones who came on their own, because vulnerable children are mostly on their own. 

Osoba said, children migrated when they are abusive and threatened in their environment, thereby exposing them to high level of vulnerability due to cultural challenges and hindered access to developmental structure.

She urged all institutions to come together to help the children migrants, lamenting the poor contribution of Nigerian government towards providing enabling laws for child migrants in the country.

She said government must factor policies that are favourable to child migrants, saying all children have rights, and the right should be protected at all times. 

"For instance, if a migrant child is about to be trained for tailoring and the tutor said it's ₦20,000 to train her, and you said you can only afford ₦5,000 but now refused the child, the trainer has contributed to the problem of migrant children.

In his own submission, the Head of Department, Social Work, Ogun State College of Health Technology (OSCOTECH), Mr. Mujaheed Adegbola, said "Child protection should be a means of protective accompaniment of children. Framework should Vocational Educational and Training (VET) factor as a means of empowerment for the migrant children.

Speaking on the link between Migration, Child Protection, Employment and Vocational Training, Adegbola said, "VET should be treated as post-migrant empowerment, while sector based and entrepreneurial programmes have the potentials to help integrate migrant children.

"Their is a large area of needs and interests of migrants children (which bothers mostly on greener pastures)", he said.

Climax of the workshop include the presentation of life support equipments, such as; Hair Dryers, Clippers, Sewing Machines, Inverter, were presented to beneficiaries. 

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