Child protection lessons learned promoted as promising practices in the EEA – Region
IOM Cyprus promoted lessons learned from the Transition to Adulthood program with the support of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus in the EEA Region. IOM Cyprus was invited to present progress on child protection and achievements during the webinar “Young migrants in transition to adulthood”, held on 28 January 2021.
The webinar was jointly organized by four national contact points of the European Migration Network, EMN Cyprus, EMN Greece, EMN Italy and EMN Luxembourg, and it was joined by representatives of the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, the Council of Europe, PICUM, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum of Greece, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies of Italy and Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital in Ireland among others.
IOM stressed that integration should start early and involve both migrants and the host community, as recognized by the National Action Plan on Integration. The main axis of integration interventions in the IOM Cyprus Transition to Adulthood program are the transfer to semi-independent, safe and suitable accommodation, language learning and skills training, as well as quality education, good health and well-being, and access to jobs, decent work and on-the-job training. All project interventions are line with SDGs 3, 4 and 8 and Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration objectives.
IOM Cyprus launched the new project amidst the Covid-19 pandemic by assisting a total of 15 unaccompanied migrant children from overcrowded reception centers and ensuring the protection of their basic human rights based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Moreover, 4 aged out beneficiaries have been successfully integrated into the local community by securing employment in the food processing and hospitality sectors. Having secured a livelihood, they were eventually able to move to independent accommodation and successfully exit the program.
IOM facilitated the enrollment of another 4 beneficiaries in formal education and is currently taking steps to enrol an additional 2. A further 2 beneficiaries have benefited from relocation and reunified with family in Finland. Care and integration plans for each unaccompanied migrant child are prepared in cooperation, full support and consent of the legal guardian. Legal guardians are kept informed on the weekly financial grant received by the beneficiaries, on the multidisciplinary support provided by a team of psychosocial counsellors, legal counsellors and caregivers responsible for their empowerment. Legal guardians are kept informed if children are going to school on a daily basis and in case of health concerns.
The full recording of the webinar (in English) can be accessed via YouTube: https://youtu.be/MbQtoeinsss