An estimated 250 million people are on the move around the world, including 28.2 million young migrants between the age of 2 and 15, says Head of Office at International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Botswana, Sikhulile Dlamini.
Dlamini stated that even though migration dates to history the difference is that today more people are on the move than ever before. She was speaking at a National Social Workers Workshop on Case Management and Best Interest Determination for the Protection of Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children in Gaborone this week.
Migration has become not only the mega-trend of our time but also a contentions segment of the political discourse in countries of origin, transit and destination, she said. The two-day workshop held in partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) is expected to address challenges of mixed and irregular migration through policy advice, consultations and stakeholder workshops.
The IOM has been providing technical support to various stakeholders in Botswana since 2014, in efforts to enhance migration governance. It was during these trainings that stakeholders expressed the need to strengthen the capacity of Social Workers on Case Management and Best Interest Determination in relation to unaccompanied and separated migrant children.
“Today the focus will be on population that often encounters suffering during the migration process and or after arrival in countries of destination-unaccompanied and migrant children. As IOM we engage on migration-related matters with stakeholders. There has been a consistent message that Social Workers need a platform to reach consensus on a case management system that will enhance protection of this population.
“These efforts are aimed at promoting and upholding human dignity and protecting human rights, including the rights of migrant children, as enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Children’s Act of 2009,” she pointed out
Dlamini revealed that Africa is projected to have the largest population growth of any geographical region by 2050, which will have important consequences for international migration, and major implications for the continent’s economic development.
She said the people will move as they always have done. Dlamini said the philosophy of the IOM is that migration is not a problem to be solved but an issue to be managed. She indicated that in Southern Africa, contemporary economic migration has been influenced by multiple factors.
Dlamini said labour demand remains an important driver of economic migration in SADC. Madoda Nasha, Deputy Manager under Trafficking in Persons Unit in the Ministry of Defence Justice and Security said victims of human trafficking have to be treated as a special case.
He explained that ministry responsible for social welfare shall from money appropriated by Parliament for purposes of establishing and operating centres for victims of trafficking and accredit non-governmental organisations as centers for victims.
Nasha revealed that there is a Committee on Human Trafficking Prohibition which includes key stakeholders including most of the ministries. He stated that the committee is coming up with National Action Plan which would include the social workers who work closely with the victims.