Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NGO Denounces Factors Limiting Safe Migration Routes

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By: Alieu Jallow

During the ongoing NGO forum on participation in the 79th session of the African Commission on People’s and Human Rights, a special session on the topic “Contribution of Civil Society to the Promotion and Protection of Migrants’ and Children’s Rights” denounces several factors, including the limited availability of safe and regular migration pathways.

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These development actors consider certain migration factors as violations of migrants’ rights, which consequently compel more people to migrate irregularly.

These actors believe that the securitization of migration, including the tightening of border controls in the West African region, has exposed migrants to greater risks of human rights violations, especially women and children.

“We denounce the experiences migrants go through, which are gross violations of their human rights in their countries of origin, transit, or destination. These violations include denial of civil and political rights such as arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, torture, or lack of due process, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights such as poverty, challenges in accessing health care and education, maintaining an adequate standard of living, social security, just and favorable working conditions, and discrimination, among others.”

Access to quality education remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, despite being considered fundamental for human development and societal progress. This sector continues to face persistent challenges such as low proficiency, risks of child trafficking, forced begging, and child abuse, which undermine its development.

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Similarly, members discussed issues surrounding the gender gap, focusing on interventions to promote girls’ education, improve maternal and reproductive healthcare, address gender-based violence, and enhance women’s economic empowerment through access to finance, land rights, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The NGO’s special forum on the contribution of civil society to the promotion and protection of migrants’ and children’s rights called for improved mechanisms to address human rights issues in the context of migration. These officials are of the opinion that despite states being the fundamental duty bearers, civil society remains a critical stakeholder in ensuring the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants.

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