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Mekong Youth Forum focuses on human trafficking and migration

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

A regional forum on human trafficking and migration will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from October 24-30, aiming to discuss experiences of the problem that becomes a dilemma in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

The frontpage of the Mekong Youth Forum website: http://www.mekongyouthforum.com

The objectives of the 3rd Mekong Youth Forum on Human Trafficking and Migration (MYF3) objectives show policy makers and the public the range of vulnerabilities faced by children and youth in the region, and the value of consulting them in decision making


This week-long forum will bring together 30 children and youth from Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The participants will be young advocates who have first-hand migration or trafficking experience, either directly or by a family member. They will use creative arts methodologies to tell their stories, illustrate the situation of children and youth in the region who are vulnerable to trafficking, and put forward recommendations for future action.


Each year, millions of people in the GMS migrate for work, in search of a better life. With long porous borders and socio-economic and demographic disparities, the number of migrants within and from the region is expected to rise. Some children and young people accompany their parents or relatives, while others migrate independently. However, many of these migrants are at risk of abuse and exploitation from unscrupulous brokers, traffickers and employers.
 
To respond to these abuses, various measures have been taken to protect children, migrants and trafficked persons. In recent years, wide-ranging laws, policies and capacity building programmes have been initiated and implemented to keep migrant children and youth safe. Prevention and protection mechanisms have put thousands of children and young people back into education and training programmes, helped them migrate more safely, withdrawn them from exploitative conditions, and provided assistance for them to return home and reintegrate into society. 
 
At-risk children and youth, including trafficked persons, have participated in and led programmes focused on awareness-raising on trafficking and safe migration. Organisational capacity to engage children and youth has been enhanced, and platforms have been established for young people to participate in policy dialogue with government officials. 


These contributions reaffirm the capacity of children and young people to create change in matters affecting their lives. It shifts the position of children and youth from beneficiaries to rights holders – who are able to claim these rights, while at the same time having their own duties. Considering children as citizens of society with responsibilities does not depend on their future contribution as adults; children already have the capacity and perspectives required to exercise their rights, responsibilities and to make contributions to society.
 
Participants of the 3rd Mekong Youth Forum were elected at national level youth forums in the six countries (the national forum and selection guidelines are explained in the Annex). These forums were carried out between June and August 2010, and were organised around the same objectives and guidelines as the regional forum.


The national forums had a working group headed-up by a lead agency, that cooperated closely with co-convenors and other partners concerned with trafficking, migration or child protection issues. Government partners were involved in organising the national forums to the extent possible for future sustainability.


This year, relations were also established with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, as well as the ASEAN Migrant Workers Committee.


The event is hosted by the Government of Thailand and co-organised by the International Labour Organization, World Vision, Save the Children UK, and the United Nations Inter-agency Project on Human Trafficking. This forum builds on the Mekong Children’s Forum, 2004 and the Mekong Youth Forum, 2007.         

Source: SGGP

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