Over 100 ‘children on the move’ repatriated from Gambia
By Sanna Camara
A member of the West Africa Network on ‘Children on the Move’ in The Gambia has decried as exorbitant, fees charged by the Gambia’s television broadcaster for the broadcast of their advocacy programmes on television.
Mr. Njundu Drammeh, coordinator of Child Protection Alliance in The Gambia therefore urged the national broadcaster to reconsider such a fee to facilitate their work in the service of vulnerable children in the country and the sub-region.
Mr. Drammeh made this call at a high level meeting of directors responsible of child protection in Senegal, Conakry, Bissau and Gambia held in Banjul today. He said fees for television advocacy in The Gambia are exorbitant.
D30, 000 per hour television programme is exorbitant
“We want to collaborate with the media in our advocacy work… but D30, 000 per hour television programme is exorbitant,” he told the meeting.
He urged the national broadcaster to reconsider the fees they are charging to advocates of child protection and welfare in the country.
Share inter-regional experiences and practices
The meeting brought together women, community and religious leaders; law and immigration enforcement officers, armed forces, media, governors of various regions in the Gambia, and child advocates from across the board.
The objective was to share inter-regional experiences and practices used in field of child protection and juvenile justice.
Over 100 children repatriated from Gambia
Meanwhile, Mr. Drammeh in his presentation on ‘Children on the Move in the Gambia’ told the meeting that the project since 2010 has been able to repatriate 114 non-Gambian children in this category. These children he added, have been moving from across borders into Gambia and becoming street children here.
“The repatriation process involves social workers and immigration officers. We pick them from the streets and lodge them in our care centers while we contact our partners in their home countries to locate their families. We take steps to integrate them with their families and engage the said families in counseling to avoid any backlash on the child for, among other things, absconding,” he said.
50 integrated within Gambia
Regarded as one of the leading child rights advocates in the Gambia, Mr. Drammeh also revealed that they were also able to repatriate 43 Gambian children from other countries under this project since 2010.
“50 children have been equally integrated with their families within the Gambia – these include children who either disappeared from their families, or are running away due to one reason or another” he said