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Growing fear of exploitation of children stuck in the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia

Aid agencies said Tuesday that hundreds of children away from their parents were at risk of abuse, exploitation and child labor after fleeing conflict in the northern region of Tigray, Ethiopia.

According to Save the Children, nearly 5,000 children have lost contact with their parents or become orphans since the outbreak of the fighting in November, and many have taken care of them. I live in an informal camp with no adults to do.

“We are very concerned because the protection system that normally supports children living separately has collapsed almost completely due to the conflict,” said Magdalena Rothman, charity’s child protection adviser for Tigray. It was.

The conflict began when soldiers from the region’s exiled ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front attacked a military base, leading to a federal counterattack alongside neighboring Eritrean soldiers.

It is estimated that thousands have died, 1.7 million have fled their homes in Tigray and about 60,000 have become refugees in nearby Sudan, according to the United Nations.

According to the United Nations, humanitarians are struggling to access people in need due to cut-offs in communications and electricity, and fighting continues in parts of Tigray.

According to aid workers, refugee children lacking food, shelters, clean water and medical care may be exploited as child laborers or forced to exchange sex for basic commodities. There is a risk.

Save the Children and UNICEF are looking for foster parents to care for their children and to create a child-friendly space where girls are most at risk, safe from potential trafficking and exploitation. I have been working on.

According to UNICEF, about 1,000 children are tentatively cared for by community members and relatives, and the ultimate goal is to reunite them with their families.

Michele Selvaday, Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Ethiopia, said the process was difficult, especially since the conflict began, with telephone lines in some areas down.

“(It) is more than just a phone call. You need to meet the relatives you find, and you need to make sure that the conditions are appropriate for the child to be reunified,” he said. Said.

“This is arguably a very difficult process in a difficult environment,” Servadei told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Addis Ababa, adding that about 10% of children have begun active follow-up activities.

Save the Children has been absent from school for months, which could force children of Tigray refugees to marry early, face sexual violence, and return to school. Said it would be lower.

“Without parents who previously provided safety and security, many children need additional help to cope with their situation,” says children socially and mentally. Rothman of Save the Children, a provider of medical services, said.

UNICEF’s Selvaday said charities don’t have enough social workers, so lack of funding is a challenge and they need to negotiate with war parties to allow family tracking services across conflict boundaries. ..

“The more we hire social workers, the more NGOs can reach rural areas, and we find that there are far more,” he said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Growing fear of exploitation of children stuck in the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia

Source link Growing fear of exploitation of children stuck in the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia

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