The European Commission has contributed EUR 2 million to IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF to support a programme to combat human trafficking and exploitation among some 10,000 child migrants and asylum seekers in Zambia.
The three-year programme builds on the existing efforts of the government of Zambia and UN agencies to address vulnerability and increase protection for children and other persons of concern at high risk of trafficking and exploitation because of their migration status.
“Exploitation of migrants and victims of trafficking is a grave violation of fundamental human rights. Measures have to be taken to combat the scourge of trafficking, including ensuring greater protection for migrants, speeding up prosecution of the perpetrators and supporting longer term prevention activities,” said Kanni Wignaraja, the UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, during the launch of the project in Lusaka.
IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF will focus on increasing protection of children and persons of concern by supporting the Zambian government’s capacity to compile and process data on irregular migrants, as well as strengthening procedures for the assessment and referral of vulnerable children and other persons of concern.
The three agencies will also support government efforts to raise awareness among the host communities and will work to enhance regional and cross-border collaboration on mixed migration challenges.
The project is expected to review relevant laws and make recommendations to promote the domestication of Zambia’s obligations under international and regional legal instruments related to vulnerable children, migration, asylum seeking and human trafficking.IOM