UNICEF partners with Gov’t, civil society for protection of migrant children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with key agencies to provide help for migrant children settled in border communities with Venezuela and on the coast here.
UNICEF Monday signed agreements with the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Citizenship, the Child Care and Protection Agency, Regional Administrations in Regions One, Two and Six, and the Non-Governmental Organisation Blossoms Inc.
UNICEF Representative Sylvie Fouet, said the partnership is to provide the child protection services in these regions where they are needed the most.
The support includes ensuring documentation (including work on birth registration), supporting access to services for children who are sexually abused and access to referral services for legal aid and violence prevention with the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic and Help and Shelter.
While the agreements focus on child Protection, the relief response includes interventions in water and hygiene promotion and education and adolescent development.
Fouet also spoke of work being done to ensure that migrant children are given access to education in bordering villages.
“We have been working with actually the regional education officer, particularly in Region One and Region Two and also Region Seven to get information on how many children are actually entering school.
“The good news is government of Guyana…has an open door policy.
“The challenge now is just the absorption capacity of the school.
“So… we are actually looking at what rehabilitation programme or what additional support [the] school needs to absorb those children,” Fouet stated.
The UNICEF representative said the idea is to let the children have joint learning with Guyanese students and not be separate.
To date, Fouet said the Mabaruma and White water areas have more than 200 migrant students registered.