The first joint training session of the AOM (7th session) and the AOMF (18th session) took place from 22 to 24 November 2016 at the Training and Exchange Mediation Center in Rabat on the “Ombudsmen protecting the rights of migrant children during their migratory journeys“.
The event brought together 20 participants and 11 experts. The ten institutions represented were: Albania, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, France, Malta, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Turkey. Experts from Macedonia, France, Benin, Spain and Morocco, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Six modules were developed over the three days of training. One of them, dealing with respect for rights in reception and transit centers, made it possible to affirm that real opportunities for cooperation between Ombudsmen, civil society and INGOs were possible, in particular in terms of Assistance to migrant and / or refugee children.
There was also discussion of family reunification, medical and psychological monitoring of the child, participation of children, access to education and respect for the rights of the child in repatriation procedures.
The recommendations made by participants and experts included:
• strengthening the role and commitment of Ombudsmen in family reunification;
• raising public awareness of the dangers of crossing the sea in particular among communities of origin about irregular migration risks;
• Implementing the legal instruments on migrant rights and child protection.
The training also provided an opportunity for the AOM and AOMF common working group on the rights of migrant children to meet for the first time.
An action plan was proposed during the training event, comprised of five main actions aimed at:
• raising migrant children awareness about their rights and the powers of ombudsmen in protecting these rights;
• increasing authority understanding of their responsibilities in relation to protecting the rights of migrant children;
• creating forums for dialogue and partnerships within each institution;
• making on-site visits to countries of transit and destination;