Today, millions of people, mainly from Africa and Asia are making long, dodgy journeys to safety in Europe.
By Simon Mone
Today we observe World Refugee Day. As we commemorate it, humanity calls you to spare a thought for forced migration and related political games that we see happening in our part of the world. Today, millions of people, mainly from Africa and Asia are making long, dodgy journeys to safety in Europe.
They continue to run off from insurgencies and economic hardships. And go to places where they see promise of better security. You will concur that migration has now undoubtedly become the biggest social and political pain of the last five years or so. And there are no indications that forced movements of people will end soon. Tens of thousands of displaced civilians continue to ask important questions of us.
Where is your generosity? So friends of humanity will quickly find out that a specific group of people are wandering, to whom we owe responsibility, of big-heartedness. Unaccompanied children on the move! How they obtain this bravery to pack up and set off to unknown destinations? In order to find safe haven, a better life and all. They must leave families and go. Close call travels across the Mediterranean Sea. This, to them seems to be the only option of secure and safe places. So they end up in Europe. Without awareness of the laws and procedural difficulties that they must overcome, all they need is to get there. But often, they get caught up in child labour.
Moreover, they don't mind being exploited. And their lack of education and no knowledge of local languages add to their challenges. The number of children escaping to safety is still growing. Despite challenging political environments both at home and in their destinations, let alone dangerous sea crossings.
There is no indication that we shall see less migration of kids soon. So it is still a headache. By June 2015, 1 out of 10 immigrants flowing to Europe was a child. And at the beginning of June 2016, 35 per cent were children. It is not yet known; exactly the number of unaccompanied refugee children that have crossed over to Europe since the beginning of this migration story. But once they land there, they hang on streets. With no; food, shelter, clothing and education to look forward to, somehow, they still hope things are better than at home.
That is why unaccompanied children need your support ̶ to help ease psychological trauma, of violence and abuse that they experienced, forcing them to lose contact with parents. Others separate from families during the long journey confusion. Therefore, unaccompanied kids' expectations having travelled all the way must be met.
This is why, in order to be of help to unaccompanied children, we ought to continue our search for ways of stopping migration causes. So because of your kindness, you can help contribute to ending conflict and human suffering. Sit down and support endeavours aimed at ending wars and unrests. Be it peace keeping force deployment or holding peace talks. Kids must have equitable access to basic amenities.
Importantly, migrant hosts should develop efficient asylum-handling procedures, especially for children. Remove unfavourable migrant policies. Make decisions that favour children, so bundling them in trucks and heading off to unsafe camps won't do. Host countries; please open up migrant-child welfare centres. It provides displaced refugees with a chance to access good appropriate care.
Thus, as we mark World Refugee Day, let us consider kids that break loose from their homes and go. Our to-do list still remains ̶ to try and stop unaccompanied children from making those long, unsafe journeys all on their own. We recognise the resilience of unaccompanied migrant kids. For braving all hardships on their way to Europe.
The writer is a civil engineer