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Ayalew Getachew Assefa Secretariat of the ACERWC

Ayalew Getachew Assefa Secretariat of the ACERWC

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Ayalew Getachew Assefa Secretariat of the ACERWC

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  1. Ayalew Getachew AssefaSecretariat of the ACERWC The Work of the ACERWC on children on the move

  2. Normative Framework • The African Children’s Charter- article 23- about legislative measures,family tracing and reunification,to accord same protection as any other child who has been derived of family environment,extension of protection to IDPs • The African Charter on HPR • The Protocol on Free movement of people • OAU Refugee Convention (1969/1974) • AU Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (2009/2012) Soft laws • The Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children • Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action (2018 – 2030)

  3. Institutional Frameworks • ACERWC • The ACHPR and its Special Mechanisms • The AUC- DSA and DPA • On Migration- Research/Observatory Centres in Mali, Sudan and Egypt - yet to be established

  4. The work of the ACERWC The ACERWC sets standards on the following group of children • Refugee children, Children born to refugee parents, internally displaced persons or asylum seekers • Children of undocumented migration status: these include • undocumented children, • children born to undocumented parents, • children whose migration status became irregular because their parents or caregivers overstayed their residence visas or permits in a given country, • children in regular migration status (without necessarily being documented) but whose parents or caregivers are undocumented, or • children born to parents whose deportation has been suspended due to circumstances justifiable under international law or international humanitarian law, but have not been issued any documentation.

  5. The ACERWC-Observation on Refugee/Migrant Children • Discrimination in refugee determination procedure-Algeria-refugees coming from the Sub-Saharan countries are denied of refugee status without fair hearing. • No identification procedure in place for unaccompanied minors- Angola • No psychosocial support and alternative care- Gabon, Angola • Lack of case management with a child friendly procedure for documentation, registration, transmission and referral- in many countries • Limited integration of refugee children into mainstream education and health- South Africa, Angola • Most camps do not have centers for children below school going age and limited child friendly spaces –Burkina Faso

  6. The ACERWC-Observation on Refugee/Migrant Children • Limited procedure on family tracing and reunification- explore durable solutions- Lesotho, Gabon • Exploitation- Some in mixed migration situation involved in hazardous works- Ghana (as you as 6 years old working on the mining center) • Sexual exploitation of children in refugee camps; early pregnancies in refugee camps- Rwanda, Burkina Faso • Specific challenges of Migrant children and children of foreign parents- discrimination and xenophobia- South Africa

  7. ACERWC Study on Children on the Move within Africa Three main routes namely • Routes within the horn of Africa and out of the region, • Routes through the West and Central Africa into North Africa and • The West Africa routes.

  8. Major findings of the ACERWC’s Study Movements of children should be looked at a child protection matters • Weak or lack of clear normative frameworks and no clear institutional positioning on the notion of children on the move • Lack of adequate systems to trace children on the move • Lack of coordination between security services, child protection services, and other government bodies • Lack of regional coordination (RECs level)- existence of largely a one size-fits-all approach in tackling mobility of children • Inadequacy of documentation, data and statistics of children on the move

  9. Recommendations • Working on the relevant UN Treaty Bodies for border control measures should not include detention, discrimination or torture. • NHRIs (ACERWC initiatives to be mentioned) to ensure that the State Party reporting mechanism addresses issues related to children on the move- by providing briefings including on the legislative, institutional framework, disaggregated date, about all groups of children on the move, the challenges the children face • RECs (ACERWC initiatives to be mentioned) to establish Child protection information management systems which can be linked across borders, and strengthen referral of critical child protection concerns across states to ensure a continuum of care for vulnerable children on the move. • UN and International Organsiationsto record data relevant to children on the move within the continent as well.

  10. Not all RECs are advanced with respect to regional protection mechanisms. Yet, this is necessary due to movement within regions. Furthermore, as children move across the borders of the RECs as defined by the AU, greater coordination is required. In particular, child protection information management systems can be linked across borders, and strengthen referral of critical child protection concerns across states to ensure a continuum of care for vulnerable children on the move. The Committee would be pre-disposed to facilitate discussions on coordination. • Coordination between the Committee and other African Union programmes and agencies could also be fruitful. Notably, coordination with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to integrate the child protection analysis in country-review process could help address some of the challenges related to data and information on country-specific frameworks. Similarly, coordination with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) could help create awareness with respect to the challenges faced by children on the move. • On data • The Committee notes that international agencies (e.g. IOM, the UNHCR and UNICEF) are increasingly recording children on the move in their statistics. While the Committee commends internationally agencies for these efforts, it notes that most of the data available is with respect to children moving outside of the continent; hence the Committee encourage international agencies to record data relevant to children on the move within the continent as well.

  11. Thank you!