Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In Conflicts and Disasters, Protect Children from Child Labour

Credits: К UN.ORG

Around the world 535 million children are living in countries affected by conflicts and disasters. One out of every four children is a victim of conflicts and displacement crises in countries already struggling with poverty, malnutrition, armed conflict and the impacts of natural disasters. Lake Chad Basin, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Yemen are some of the regions with the worst humanitarian crises threatening the lives and futures of more children today than perhaps any other time in history. Millions of these children are vulnerable, living in poverty, deprived of adequate nutrition, out of school and at risk of exploitation. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that majority of the 168 million children in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The ILO has therefore decided to dedicate the 2017  World Day Against Child Labour on 12th of June on the ‘impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour globally’.

Conflicts and disasters around the world are not just a threat to the children but also their societies, potentially reversing hard-won development gains. Failure to meet basic needs in health, education, and other essential services undermines the ability of communities to prevent, manage, and recover from a disaster. Ironically, the countries with the lowest income often pay the heaviest price. On average, conflicts in low-income countries last about 12 years and displacement due to conflict or protracted crises lasts an average of 17 years (The Overseas Development Institute) which makes the challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty, child labour and lack of education more complex.

As the economic circumstances of families in the developing countries, especially in the conflict areas become more desperate, the conditions in which children find themselves become worse. Millions of children trapped in the disruption or humanitarian crisis are losing valuable, unrecoverable learning time and a decent childhood with their school years simply slipping by with no chance to learn to read and write but instead toil day and night to support their families. One of the examples is Sudan. The country for a very long time has been in turmoil, and one of the poorest countries in the world. Most of the fledgling nations like Sudan, are in the grip of a humanitarian crisis fuelled by years of chronic underdevelopment, conflict and natural disasters. Only one-third of the population has never attended school in the country, the rest are internally displaced persons - of whom more than half are children younger than 18. Right now, in countries such as South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and many more, schools and hospitals are under attack. For example, in Syria to date, an estimated 5,000 schools have been fully destroyed and close to a thousand more have been damaged since the beginning of the conflict. Over 60 per cent of refugee children from Syria do not have access to primary education. In Yemen, over 500 schools have already been damaged or destroyed during aerial bombardments or ground offensives.

Children at the risk of being out of school are also the most vulnerable to working in hazardous conditions such as in global supply chains, domestic labour, armed conflict, sexual exploitation, and illicit activities like organised begging and child trafficking. Warfare and conflict has taken away from millions of children their homes, families, friends and education. The total number of children between the age of 6-15 years who are out of school, as estimated by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is more than 25 million across 22 conflict and warfare ridden countries. The limited access these children have to quality education is part of the problem; moreover, children who work are more likely to drop out of education. The circumstances and its impacts get exacerbated further when such exploitation concerns in emergencies does not fit neat definitions of human rights violations, such as trafficked or sexually exploited children. This adds to the creation of many obstacles in the enforcement of national laws and policies to protect children, in particular refugee children from child labour, recruitment and other protection concerns.

The immediate support that feeds into a broader, longer-term vision to address these concerns is to ensure decent livelihood for the youth and the communities and most importantly education for all children, particularly the victims of trafficking, worst forms of child labour, slavery and the ones hardest to reach. Ensuring education and protection services in emergencies not only builds a child’s sense of safety and normalcy but also gives children the tools to rebuild their lives and communities. Yet, education is among the least financed sectors in humanitarian response. In 2014, education received only 2 per cent of the humanitarian aid as many global appeals do not cover all those in need. What is needed most now is for donor countries to honour with sense of urgency and responsibility the globally agreed target of allocating at least 4% of humanitarian aid to education.

Addressing the impacts of conflict and disaster on children, in particular - worst forms of child labour and out of school children is also a key challenge in building peaceful and strong societies envisioned by the new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the most crucial targets under SDGs is Target 8.7 which reasserts for ‘effective measures to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour in all its forms, including the worst forms of child labour’, as well as the SDG Goal 4, on ensuring quality, inclusive and equitable education. The achievement of these goals and targets is imperative more than ever to make a real difference in the lives of millions of such children and young people affected by warfare and conflict who constitute a large proportion of the world’s out-of school population. These goals reminds us of every child’s right to quality education and that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development”.

Recognising how we respond in emergencies lays the foundation for future growth and stability, and how we invest in development helps build resilience against future emergencies. In the wake of humanitarian crisis, increased migration, displacement and trafficking has blurred the significance of national boundaries which calls for the reinforcement of collective and sustainable action. However, this vision will require a radical new approach to address child labour and education failures in emergency situations. Governments, businesses, philanthropies and development organisations must come together, not just to lend financial support but also to provide needed intellect and inspiration to a challenge that can rightly be called this century’s civil rights struggle to protect every child. As the ILO recommends, there should be set priorities, designed strategies and implementation of activities to address and prioritise child labour interventions as a life-saving activity in conflicts and disasters. The understanding of present and future risks for millions of children in the absence of intervention should also be strengthened in order to address the issue as a long-term development challenge.

Friday, 12 May 2017

What We Would All Be Missing

*This article has been written by Chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour, Timothy Ryan and was published in Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
In February, 40 organizations convened a brainstorming workshop at a conference center south of London focused on a new development goal adopted by the United Nations: the eradication of forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labor by 2030. The group included members of the UN’s Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking, UN special rapporteurs, representatives of workers’, employers’ and business organizations, and nongovernmental organizations long committed to this work. I was there representing the Global March Against Child Labor, a worldwide network of more than 300 organizations founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and dedicated, since its founding in 1998, to the elimination of child labor in all its forms.
The workshop was convened under the banner “Alliance 8.7,” a new initiative founded on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last fall. It featured three days of discussions, policy recommendations and priority setting to address the issue with an emphasis on topics such as rule of law, supply chains, migration, conflict areas, sexual exploitation and education. If it sounds highly technical and somewhat dry, detailed and theoretical, that’s because it was. The issues, of course, are anything but, and a matter of life and death for millions.
Yet there was another participant who embodied all these sober deliberations of the UN staff, business representatives, workers’ and NGO activists and brought them to life. The real heart and soul, the true voice and meaning of the meeting was a young Muslim American poet (and UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative) who shared her work with the gathering. It was her poetry and experience that animated the discourse and provided a pointed illustration of how the challenge of forced labor, child slavery and trafficking is also bound up in the fate of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict. Beyond her writing, it was Emi Mahmoud’s presence that also highlighted how urgent is this human dilemma, not only for today but the future as well.
Emi and her family fled the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, when she was a toddler, going first to Yemen. Then they came to the United States when she was 4 years old. If the current contested U.S. travel ban on refugees from Sudan and five other countries, including Yemen, were in effect when Emi and her family fled the war in Sudan, she might not have gone on to win the Individual World Poetry Slam competition for 2015. She certainly would not be a U.S. citizen from Philadelphia and a recent graduate of Yale University with a double major in molecular biology and anthropology.
She might not be alive, having been engulfed in the Sudan conflict, and if her family had not emigrated when it did from Yemen, enmeshed in the escalating civil war in that country as well.
The experience of being a refugee from a war zone sears her poetry:
“Memories of my childhood live between the rings of sand around my ankles and the desert heat in my lungs. I still believe that nothing washes worry from tired skin better than the Nile and my grandma’s hands. Every day I go to school with the weight of dead neighbors on my shoulders. The first time I saw bomb smoke, it didn’t wind and billow like the heat from our kitchen hearth. It forced itself on the Darfur sky, smothering the sun with tears that it stole from our bodies. The worst thing about genocide isn’t the murder, the politics, the hunger, the government paid soldiers that chase you across borders and into camps, It’s the silence.” -- From People Like Us*
Contemporary commentators like to point to history with a list of accomplished refugees and immigrants who fled war and repression to come to the United States; they need only look around at our world today. What would we all be missing if the U.S. travel ban and irrational fear of immigrants from so many countries remains in place? What chances would gifted young people like Emi miss, not only to let their art and intellect soar, but to simply keep on living? And what incredible richness would every country that turns its back on refugees and immigrants forfeit if they continue to turn inward in fits of paranoia?
In this excerpt from Emi’s poem, For Muhannad, Taha, and Adam, Emi comments on her meeting with President Obama a couple of years ago:
“I met the president Sat with him at a table too small to hold everything that brought us there His hands resting Where are your chains? They told me your hands were tied When they sent those kids back, when they wouldn’t take the refugees, when they closed off the borders but not Guantanamo Mr. President, why do they call it the land of the free when even the dead can’t leave? Mr. President, what does one caged bird say to another? But I could barely hear him over the corpse rotting between us He looked at me as if he thought I was afraid Doesn’t he know, that back home, the women take care of the bodies?”* As Emi herself points out and is reflected in her writing, concern for those enslaved, fleeing conflict and trafficked cannot be based on their credentials, their family background, their earning potential. It’s a matter of fundamental humanity.

Her words are, if anything, even more urgent now as the current administration is actively creating policies and an atmosphere of hatred that threaten to keep young people today from not only fulfilling their ambitions and dreams as Americans but also denying them the opportunity just to continue to live. Timothy Ryan is Chairperson of the Global March Against Child Labor. *Copyright by and used with permission from Emi Mahmoud, UNHCR High Profile Supporter 2017. Link to her work through http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/emtithal-mahmoud.html and https://m.facebook.com/emimahmoudpoetry/

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Education in the Time of War: Harnessing the Potential of SDG 4


Education is not just a fundamental human right, but also an enabling right – essential for the exercise of individuals and communities at different levels. It plays a significant role in supporting survival, growth, development and well-being of nations and its children. Enhanced investment in education also contributes to higher income, individual empowerment and decreased poverty levels of the countries, especially the ones ridden with conflict. The on-going humanitarian crisis shows that there is no time more important for education than the time of war as the conflict and violence become significant barriers to the goal of providing a primary school place for all children.

As the economic circumstances of families in the developing countries, especially in the conflict areas become more desperate, the conditions in which children find themselves are worsening. There is no shortage of evidence that the crisis is pulling children out of school and pushing an ever-increasing number towards exploitation in the labour market. For instance some 2.7 million Syrian children are currently out of school, a figure swollen by children who are forced to work instead. Many became pregnant, married as children or are pushed into child labour. Many will never return to the classrooms. Many still do not have a chance. The limited access these children have to quality education is part of the problem; moreover, children who work are more likely to drop out of education. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), children in conflict affected countries are more than twice as likely, and adolescents two-thirds more likely, to be out of school than in non-conflict affected countries.


Children at the risk of being out of school are also the most vulnerable to working in hazardous conditions such as in global supply chains, domestic labour, armed conflict, sexual exploitation, and illicit activities like organised begging and child trafficking. Warfare and conflict has taken away from millions of children their homes, families, friends and education. The total number of children between the age of 6-15 years who are out of school, as estimated by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is more than 25 million across 22 conflict and warfare ridden countries. Right now, in countries such as South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and many more, schools and hospitals are under attack. For example, in Syria to date, an estimated 5,000 schools have been fully destroyed and close to a thousand more have been damaged since the beginning of the conflict. Over 60 per cent of refugee children from Syria do not have access to primary education. In Yemen, over 500 schools have already been damaged or destroyed during aerial bombardments or ground offensives. The UNICEF reports that a third of Yemen’s children have been out of school since air strikes began in March 2015. Elsewhere, thousands of schools have closed their doors because of insecurity, interrupting the education of millions of boys and girls.

Education offers hope and is a proven strategy to reduce and eliminate child labour and poverty. Millions of children who are out of school and are pushed towards economic and sexual exploitation are much more than victims of circumstances. Their conditions are a key challenge to building peaceful and strong societies envisioned by the new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that affirm every child’s right to quality education, to leave no one behind and to “endeavour to reach the furthest behind”. The SDGs also remind us that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development”.  Yet, conflict too often means the end of learning and development of the affected children. For instance children recruited and used as child soldiers or the ones whose education was interrupted for so long that going back to a regular school might be difficult or impossible as they may have a hard time finding their place in society once their ordeal is over.

If we do not promote their repatriation, and help them find ways to contribute to their communities and their own development through education and vocational training opportunities, these boys and girls may grow up to contribute to the stalling or, worse, the reversal of development. The new agenda therefore is not only to provide quality and inclusive education to every child but also to transform a world confronted with challenges on a scale not experienced in decades. As the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Honorary President of Global March Against Child Labour, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi puts it “A childhood without education isn’t a childhood at all, and every youth who is out of school is one too many.” The SDGs, especially with specific goals and targets on ensuring education (SDG 4) are poised to make a real difference in the lives of the childhood of millions of such children and young people affected by warfare and conflict who constitute a large proportion of the world’s out-of school population. It is the need of the hour to commit to developing more inclusive, responsive and resilient education systems to meet the needs of children, youth and adults in these contexts, including internally displaced persons and refugees.

One of the core reasons conflict is taking such a heavy toll on education is  inadequate financing. In 2014, education received only 2 per cent of the humanitarian aid as many global appeals do not cover all those in need. What is needed most now is for donor countries to honour with sense of urgency and responsibility the globally agreed target of allocating at least 4% of humanitarian aid to education.

According to the UNICEF, at present conflict-affected countries, in particular, are spending around 3% of national income – below the global average of 4% and the recommended target of nearly 6%. With so many of the world’s out-of-school children and adolescents living in conflict-affected countries, investing in education should be a priority for external donors when governments fail to do so, but most countries in protracted crises do not receive enough humanitarian financing. The developing countries and the ones affected by conflict should commit to allocating at least 20% of their national budgets to education and remove all financial barriers that prevent the most marginalised children from accessing school. In defining national education budgets, countries should consider the lost opportunities of not investing enough in education and the impact this has on poverty, unemployment and marginalisation.

Recognising the potential and power of education, Global March Against Child Labour has been advocating for realisation of the fundamental right to good quality education of all children by governments, as custodians of this right.  As an organisation, it has also impressed upon the need to ensure that education policies and programmes, include and target those who are hardest-to-reach and likely to remain out of school such as those in child labour, affected by trafficking, conflicts, disasters and other vulnerabilities. In the current times, where this right to education is in jeopardy for millions of children, Global March Against Child Labour especially calls on governments to develop clear roadmaps to implement SDG 4 on education and to commit resources to education to invest in the future of countries and the world at large.  It also calls on to donor governments to commit more resources for humanitarian aid to education for children affected by conflict.

 You can also join hands with us and do your bit right now by supporting our work in this #GlobalActionWeekForEducation and can pledge to support education for all and advocate with your governments that its #TimeToDeliver and #StandUpForEducation

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Human Right That Keeps on Giving

Photo of Kailash Satyarthi
Op-ed by Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate & Commissioner at International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

NEW DELHI – In Côte d’Ivoire, I once met a boy working on a cocoa farm whose only dream was someday to taste the rich brown chocolate he helped produce. And in Pakistan, I once rescued a boy who sewed footballs and wished only to play with the product of his work.

In the course of more than three decades of defending children’s rights – including rescuing tens of thousands of children from bonded labor and slavery, among them little girls who were trafficked from their homeland for sexual exploitation – I have met young people from many backgrounds. But, whether they are child laborers or victims of war who have lost everything, all have something in common: an indomitable urge to study. They want nothing more than to pick up a book, go to school, and improve their lives through education.

According to UNESCO, every additional year of schooling a young person receives increases their average future earnings by 10%, and can boost countries’ average annual GDP growth by 0.37%. Education doesn’t only break the shackles of human slavery; it can also fuel social, economic, and political change.

Recognition of education’s importance is enshrined in many United Nations treaties and international declarations, and in the constitutions of its member countries. Education is not just a fundamental human right, but also an enabling right – essential for the exercise of all others. With such a powerful tool available to us, we should be doing whatever we can to use it.

To that end, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malawian President Peter Mutharika, and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova have convened the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.

Chaired by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, the Education Commission (as it is more widely known) brings together a committed and diverse group of experienced individuals who share a belief in the importance of accessible schools for all. I am both proud and humbled to be a member of the Commission, which has developed a bold agenda to turn today’s global youth into a “learning generation.”

Currently, millions of children are being denied quality education, and 263 million children are out of school worldwide – including 63 million in conflict zones and another 30 million who have disabilities. Millions cannot go to school because they are trapped in child labor and slavery, fueling a lifelong cycle of poverty and illiteracy. Poor children who are forced to perform unskilled repetitive tasks fail to learn anything else, which erodes their future employability and puts them on a path toward continued hardship in adulthood. Only education can stop this cycle and give children the means to secure a future free from exploitation.

Meanwhile, 600 million children who are in school are missing out on the full benefits of education because they are not learning basic skills. Young people who haven’t learned the skills they need to participate in the global economy are becoming disillusioned, which makes them more likely to find outlets in extremism or crime.

These numbers tell a story of education in crisis. But it’s worth mentioning that in 2000 the total number of out-of-school children was almost one-quarter higher, at 374 million, than it is today. This improvement proves that we can still build a better, more equitable, and sustainable world through education.

Fortunately, many countries are now implementing sound policies to do just that, including abolishing school fees, starting school meal programs, and using cash transfers to provide educational opportunities in poor communities. Moreover, at the international level, the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal encapsulates a new commitment by member countries to ensure inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all people by 2030.

SDG 4 is ambitious, but achieving it is imperative if the world is to meet the other 16 SDGs. The Education Commission’s new report, “The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World,” recommends a targeted approach and greater investment aimed at the hardest-to-reach children – those who are in child labor, suffering from disabilities, affected by conflicts, or excluded from education simply because they are girls.

The Education Commission proposes a strategy that fosters empathetic, compassionate, and respectful youth leaders who can show their peers that peace and innovation are worthy alternatives to fundamentalism and extremism. And, because education is ultimately a public good furnished by states, we advise governments to increase their investment in schools, either with domestic resources, international support, or private-sector partnerships.

The Education Commission’s report was presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at this month’s UN General Assembly summit, and we hope that world leaders will take notice and begin to translate its recommendations into action.

A childhood without education isn’t a childhood at all, and every youth who is out of school is one too many. We must act urgently to provide universal primary education by 2030. Creating a “learning generation” is a moral responsibility we all share – and a legacy all subsequent generations will carry on if we can just take the first, crucial steps.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Trabajo Infantil en Panamá

Unos de los problemas que presentan los niños y niñas de este país es la falta de educación, los niños y niñas a temprana edad viajan de los campos a las ciudades ya que en los campos las personas trabajan para satisfacer sus necesidades y no generan dinero.

Debido a su bajo nivel de escolaridad no les permite trabajar en una empresa, buscan trabajos como empleados domésticos en casas de familias, donde viven diferentes problemas  ocasionados por  sus jefes. Es un problema que se vive día a día, ya que las regiones más lejanas del país no tienen servicios y están alejadas de las oportunidades del país. Hay una gran desigualdad entre los pobladores del campo y la ciudad. Como adolescentes líderes hemos trabajado para salir adelante, necesitamos unir fuerzas para erradicar el trabajo infantil en nuestro país y así disminuir la tasa de niños y niñas  sin una educación de calidad.

Juan Camaño.
18 Años.

Pertenezco al grupo Fraternidad por los niños y niñas Veragüenses.
Santiago, Veraguas.

En el presente trabajo como maestro de escuela primaria para poder ahorrar dinero y continuar la Universidad el próximo año.

Estudio de caso del trabajo infantil en el trabajo doméstico en Costa Rica

DNI Costa Rica cuenta con una línea de atención a víctimas de trata, esclavitud moderna, abuso sexual y toda forma de violencia, donde se brinda atención psicosocial y legal. Llamada “Línea Mano Amiga”.

Por lo que de manera regular se reciben llamadas en donde se hacen consultas acerca derechos laborales. En el siguiente caso se ejemplifica un tipo de violación de derechos humanos  que sufren las personas adolescentes, en ella se podrá encontrar el tipo de intervención que se realizó por parte de la organización.

Se recibe una llamada de una adolescente de 16 años, de una comunidad urbana marginal. Comenta que está realizando trabajo doméstico en donde realiza funciones como limpieza, preparación de alimentos y el cuido de dos niños. La adolescente llama para hacer una consulta sobre sus posibilidades de seguir estudiando, dado que la señora donde trabaja no le permite ir al colegio. Por teléfono nos damos cuenta que la adolescente tiene horarios laborales muy extensos; de las 6 am hasta 8 o 9 de la noche, que solamente tiene un día libre, pero durante este día generalmente recibe una llamada de la empleadora solicitando “su colaboración” para cuidar a los niños para que puede hacer mandados.

Atención proporcionada:
  • Después de una intervención telefónica en donde se le explica a la adolescente acerca de sus derechos laborales con relación al horario, pago, funciones a realizar, etc. se decide visitarla en la comunidad para poder brindar una atención individualizada.
  • En una cita, en la comunidad, donde se atienda a la adolescente en un espacio comunitario (local de una Asociación de Desarrollo) se profundice sobre la situación de la adolescente y se determina que la adolescente vive situaciones severas de abuso y de explotación ya que existe un abuso psicológico y manipulación constante de la empleadora hacia la adolescente, descalificándola y criticándola de manera permanente. También la adolescente no goza de ninguna protección y garantías laborales y el salario que percibe es bastante bajo. También las horas que laboran sobrepasan lo permitido y además realiza funciones, como es el cuido de los niños, que no son permitidos por ley.
  • Se hace una visita al trabajo de la adolescente en donde se conversa con la empleadora y en donde se informa a la señora acerca de la legislación existente. La señora manifiesta que le es imposible poder cumplir con la normativa dado que le significaría que gran parte de sus ingresos tendría que gastar en una empleada doméstica. Se sugiere a la señora alternativas para el cuido de sus hijos y se le informa que esta situación no puede perdurar dado que violan los derechos (laborales) de la adolescente.
  • Se informa a la oficina de protección al trabajador adolescente del Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social sobre la situación y la intervención que se está dando.
  • Junto con la adolescente se inicia a buscar un nuevo trabajo, de acorde a la normativa y que le permite retomar sus estudios, entrando nuevamente al colegio nocturno de su comunidad.
  • Se logra encontrar otro trabajo para la adolescente, que le permite estudiar y en donde cuenta con las condiciones necesarias para su protección.
  • Asimismo se apoya a la adolescente en matricularse en el colegio nocturno para que vuelve a retomar sus estudios.
  • Se mantiene un contacto telefónico de manera regular para garantizar que la adolescente se encuentra en condiciones adecuadas.  

Lutte contre le Travail des Enfants au Bénin : « Recrutement et Placement des enfants »

Eduquer un enfant est un sacerdoce dont certains parents se sont désengagés. Des êtres si fragiles qui n’ont pas demandés à naitre et qui se retrouvent pris par les tourments de la vie et condamnés à survivre.

Aujourd’hui près de 178 millions d’enfants sont au travail, dont 120 millions âgés de 5 à 14 ans.
5millions d’enfants sont considérés, en situation d’esclavage. Des chiffres accablants et révoltants. Ce qui consiste en une violation des droits de l’enfant (extrait doc Plan Bénin).

De l’aide familiale, au champ, à l’exploitation, dans les mines ou dans la construction, le travail des enfants revêt des formes très différentes au Bénin.

Ainsi les enfants sont envoyés des campagnes vers les villes, mais  aussi vers les pays  voisins comme le Nigéria pour aller travailler dans des carrières de pierre, ou la côte d’ivoire. Loin  des leurs, ils se retrouvent  dans une situation de vulnérabilités extrêmes et soumis à toutes les formes possibles d abus : heures de travail excessives, violence physique et verbale, violences sexuelles…..

Mais la pratique la plus courante est celle des enfants vendeurs ambulants, apprentis, manœuvres ou aides de maison.

Pour assouvir les besoins fondamentaux que sont : se nourrir, se loger et se vêtir ; ces enfants se retrouvent très tôt confronter aux aléas et méandres de la vie active. D’autres se retrouvent au sein de chaine de production très complexe qui usent leur santé, leurs vie, leur épanouissement. Certains enfants se prostituent pour se nourrir. D’autres habitent et dorment dans des espaces publics comme le marché international ‘’Dantokpa’’ et le stade de l’amitié ‘’General Mathieu Kerekou’’. D’autres ne voient leur salut qu’en rejoignant les bandes organisées qui sèment la désolation et le chaos dans les villes.

Tout ceci constitue une violation majeure des droits de l’enfant Bénin. Et il convient donc  de combattre le phénomène de la  façon la plus juste qu’il soit.

Heureusement que beaucoup d’ONG Nationales ou Internationales (LERB, ESAM, Global March, Plan International Bénin, UNICEF etc…) se mobilisent à travers des campagnes de sensibilisations, des campagnes de préventions en agissant sur les causes profondes que sont :
  • la pauvreté,
  • l’éducation,
  • l’amélioration des cursus et de l’accueil scolaire,
  • le changement des mentalités,
  • la politique etc … Pour essayer de faire diminuer ces taux alarmants.
Car  ‘’Chaque enfant qu’on enseigne, est un homme qu’on gagne’’ dixit Victor Hugo. En renchérissant, on pourra dire ‘’ chaque enfant qu’on éduque est un bénéfice pour sa nation’’
On peut donc dire que la lutte contre la traite des enfants est un travail de fourmi, mais qui donne des résultats durables. C’est là l’objectif de l’ONG LERB  et de ses partenaires  dont GLOBAL MARCH.

Francine TOUPE ENIANLOKO
Présidente de l’ONG LERB (Les Enfants de la Rue Bénin)