PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2012 Selected
En Français
N°: 327/2012
30 November 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

ECOWAS MOBILIZES MEMBER STATES ON CHILD PROTECTION

							
	The ECOWAS Commission has called on Member States to support the 
implementation of regional Policy and Plan of Action for Child Protection and 
Child Trafficking as entry points for addressing the challenges related to the 
protection of the rights of women and children in the region.

In an address to the opening of a three-day training workshop in Abuja on 
Monday 26th November 2012, for Member States on the Implementation of the 
Policy and Action Plan, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and 
Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop, said the Commission has adopted an approach that 
recognizes the linkages between child protection, trafficking in persons and 
child labour.

In the address delivered on her behalf by the Director of Humanitarian 
Affairs, Dr. Daniel Eklu, the Commissioner noted that the three elements were 
each anchored by the Child Policy and Action Plan, (now the Child Protection 
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, which was validated a month ago), 
Trafficking in Persons Plan of Action and Policy on Protection and Assistance 
to victims of human trafficking, and the Child Labour Regional Action Plan.

These three elements, she said, “constitute a tripod upon which the effort for 
the protection of children and other vulnerable groups rest.”

 

The Commissioner said the meeting should serve a dual purpose of “examining 
the Synthesis Report emanating from implementation of the ECOWAS Counter 
Trafficking Plan of Action in the past year, and developing the  capacities of 
participants for both the implementation of the Trafficking in Persons Plan of 
Action and comparable measures to ensure the protection of children in the 
region.

This will enable Member States to effectively address the  causative factors 
of child trafficking, she said, adding that there is the possibility that 
the “very infrastructure established to combat trafficking, may in appropriate 
cases be targeted at a number of these causes as well, and the same may be 
said for employing mechanisms” established to deal with the issues related to 
human trafficking.

The Commissioner said the training will also afford the opportunity for 
familiarization with the frameworks within ECOWAS for counter trafficking and 
child protection, and throw up strategies required to ensure an appropriate 
protective environment for children in the region.

A representative of the International Labour Organization, Mr. Krishnamoortht 
Kukkikatte highlighted factors hindering the welfare and development of 
children in West Africa, such as exploitation, including trafficking and 
various forms of child labour.

He called for support for ECOWAS’ initiatives and the implementation of the 
regional Policy and Action Plan by Member States.

Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Martin Ocaga of the International Organization 
for Migration, said the UN agency fully supported ECOWAS efforts “to achieve a 
Child Protection Framework System for Member States that will ensure an 
environment where girls and boys are free from violence, exploitation, and 
abuse, and where laws, services, behaviours and practices minimize children’s 
vulnerability, address known risk factors and strengthen children’s own 
resilience.”

The Chairman of the meeting, Mr. Kouadio Kra Herve, Director, Child 
Protection, in Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Family, Women and Child Protection, 
called for the harmonization of various national efforts by Member States in 
support of the regional initiatives for effective protection of women, 
children and other vulnerable groups in the region.

He expressed the hope that the reflection by the experts would bring a new 
dynamism to the way the region addressed human exploitation.


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