Unaccompanied migrant children face many risks – sometimes life-threatening – during their journey and once in the country of destination. They are amongst the most vulnerable to abuse, violence and exploitation due to the fact that they do not have anyone caring for them. In South Africa, they should be treated like any other child, regardless of their origin or immigration status.
To address the challenges they face and to ensure their rights are protected, Save the Children South Africa, in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Social Development, has organised a roundtable discussion on the 22nd of October. Representatives from all sectors – social services, justice, police, immigration and civil society – interacted with a panel of five experts on ways to better protect unaccompanied migrant children.
International and national policies were presented and the gaps and challenges in regards to their implementation discussed in details. This roundtable however wasn’t only about discussing concerns but finding common and efficient ways to respond to it. In his closing remarks, Mr Lesetja Monyela from Limpopo Provincial Department of Social Development called for “an urgent multi-sectoral action plan” for the province to address the needs of migrant children.
In the coming months, Save the Children South Africa and its partners will support the development of such a plan to ensure that all children are afforded a chance at a better future.
About Save the Children South Africa
Save the Children South Africa is a local organisation fighting for the rights of children in South Africa; helping them fulfil their potential and working together with partners to achieve immediate and lasting change in children’s lives. Save the Children South Africa is part of the world’s largest independent development and child rights organisation represented in 120 countries worldwide.
For interviews and further information, please contact: Asanda Magaqa, Media Relations Manager, Save the Children South Africa Tel: 012 430 7775