The toll of Migration on Children
“Children are an asset to the future and the liability of the present”
But when we talk in terms of lives we never consider this statement and that is why we are Humans. Whether it be a Mexican border issue with the USA or Syrian refugees crossing the Ocean for better lives, the photos are always highlighted by the Children. Why is it so? Why a child has to suffer through this at such a tender age. In 2018, 17 million children were internally displaced due to border dispute or violence in a place of living. The percentage of Children in international migration has risen to 3.5 in total by the year 2019. The number of migrant children increased from 24 million in the year 2000 to 33 million in 2019. Around 13 million migrant children only live in Asia which is 40% of total migrant children. Today, Africa and Asia host three out of five migrant children.
We talk about cross-border migration a lot but according to studies, it is internal migration that affects the children most. This is proved by China, as in 2010 around 70 million children were left behind as parents went in search of better employment opportunities and due to policy implementation such as China’s household registration system (hukou). In India too, when parents move out from village to urban settlement they never take their children with them because of many reasons. These may include employment opportunities and living space are less and congested, income is very low as compared to urban standards, etc. This shows the situation is getting worse day by day.
2020 has marked the completion of five years in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and 2020-30 is a “decade of accelerated action”. It has allowed us to work in the favor of children. SDG 3- Health suggests that Member States of the UN should address the issue of migrant children’s health and co-operating them in getting health care facilities. SDG 4 - Education encourages the Member States to remove barriers to education, ensure safe learning, increase funding to education in addition to skilled staff support with teachers in Educational Institutes and Schools.
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth encourages to strengthen the child protection system, build the capacity of frontline workers to identify child victims, and give required help to him/her. Other SDGs also in some way or other help the children to get a better life in a migrated country.
The solutions are many, the ways to solve are many but we lack in implementation whether be it a developed or developing country. Countries like Germany and New Zealand can be considered here the Model States. The solutions might include as follows-
Invest in community-based and comprehensive child violence prevention strategies.
Strengthen the regional system of protection for migrant children in danger.
We should act with care and compassion towards children who have already suffered a lot.
Our National Values should be reflected in the handling of migrant children.
“ एतिथि देवो भव”...
Education of children is very important in today’s age so working on projects to provide them quality education is needed.
Having the ability to get employment is what matters in life so preparing them qualified for this cause is necessary. As a Nation that accepts migrants, we have to provide them all the care and quality of life which they deserve. Being a secular nation we can’t just say no to any other religion and so on people. We can’t seal our borders and no one should do it for those who are obligated to cross borders knowing their life is in danger. Saving them without being biased is what humanity stands for and we all need to work on that path. The galaxy has many stars that are scattered but life is on earth and we have the opportunity to help and survive with others … Mars are many but Earth is one...