on Monday started a three-day training workshop, designed to strengthen the
capacity of key stakeholders in the protection of the rights of children.
The three-day capacity-building interface, which is currently underway at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, is supported by the Swedish government in line with IOM’s mandate of protecting the rights of vulnerable migrants.
Delivering his opening statement, Gambia Immigration Department’s PRO, Superintendent Mamanding S. Dibba, thanked the organisers for the capacity-building training for immigration border officers.
He underscored the significance of the training, noting that it would equip officers to be able to do what they are supposed to do in conjunction or in tandem with international standards.
He thanked the IOM for all the support and cooperation, saying that the IOM has partnered with them as they continue to support The Gambia government.
Ms Fumiko Nagano, Chief of Mission at IOM Gambia, said the IOM as part of its mandate, was committed to working with stakeholders to meet the growing operational challenges of migration management.
Ms Nagano added that the West African region has exhibited dynamic migration-partnership with significant movements of people within and outside of the region.
A vast percentage of migrants are children,she said, adding that unaccompanied migrant children are also a common feature of the migration trends within the region.
She said children to a large extent are often dependent on adults and are still developing capacities to take care of themselves and make reliable judgment about people and situations.
All these factors mean that unaccompanied migrant children are often at risk of abuse and exploitation, including smuggling and trafficking.
“It is IOM’s firm belief that all migrants are entitled to protection of their rights, regardless of their migratory status. Therefore, in many countries across the world, IOM continues to work with respective governments and key stakeholders, in order to strengthen states and civil society organisation capacities to identify and protect vulnerable migrants,” she said.
She noted that due to the exploitation and neglect children are often exposed to, the training was therefore crucial as it aims to build capacities of stakeholders to identify migrant children who are vulnerable to violence, exploitation, abuse or violation of their rights.